In September 2011, Cartoon Movement started a collaboration with the London School of Economics, supporting a six-year research project with cartoons and comics. A big part of the challenge for us was to find ways to present the academic research to the outside world.
To support the research, we set up six project newsroom, where cartoonists submit work on the various subjects: Gender, Security, Conflict, Resolution, Resources, Transitional Justice and Information. In 2012, we organized an exhibition at the LSE to show a selection of the cartoons.
In addition to cartoons, we also felt comics journalism could play an important role to support and present the research. We asked Dan Archer, a talented comic artist who is also a pioneer in the field of interactive comics, to make a comic on the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Screenshot from the interactive comic on the ICC.
With 'International Criminal Court: Global Deterrent or Paper Tiger?', he did an excellent job, creating a timeline that explores not only the history of the ICC, but also the challenges and dilemmas faced by the institution. But the current comic is only meant to be a starting point. The real goal is transform the comic into a collaborative project that will incorporate the research on the ICC currently conducted by the LSE.
So how will it work? At the end of March, all the researchers and students will come together for three days to discuss the various perspectives and elements that could and/or should be added. These will include extra sections of comic, for instance by adding some particular cases, but also audio and video, such as interviews with people working at the ICC, and video reports by local journalists (via our sister site VJ Movement) from countries whose (former) leaders face(d) trial at the ICC.
Throughout 2013, the comic will grow to include a multitude of research perspectives, probably making it the first interactive academic comic in the world. Input for the comic is not limited to researchers and student, so if you have a valuable insight to offer, feel free to comment or send us an email. Chances are your perspective will be added to the comic.