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Comics Confronting Otherness
Picture Politics

Mia Mottelson - No PrejudiceIllustration: CC-BY-NC-ND

Picture Politics is a joint project of the Goethe-Instituts in Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK. This website brings together contemporary cartoonists, comic artists and illustrators from the above named countries and Germany whose works deal with immigration, stereotypes and prejudices about foreignness. We have assembled the comics into five sections, by topics. Together, the works give most exciting insights, effecting a change of the narrative. 
 


Identity

The theme of these drawings is identity and diversity within society. People with different backgrounds can and do coexist in the same place; a colorful community makes for a more exciting life. While this melting pot effect is clearly a pro for society, it demands open-mindedness from every one of its members. When you think about it, everyone is a stranger somewhere.  
 


Hope

The reader encounters optimism in these drawings. The hope for a better future is a strong driving force. Through love, kindness and the courage to resist, change becomes possible. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
 


Fears

The drawings in this section address the topic of fear, an important subject, but difficult to capture. Refugees and places of refuge alike experience the fear of the unknown, of the loss of home and well-being. Fear may poison our thoughts. Sadly, the fearful often close their minds to others’ perspectives and ignore facts and logic.
 


Looking Back

It is worthwhile to look back through the history of a country, as depicted in these drawings. By dealing with the mistakes of the past, we can keep dark history from repeating itself. Along the way, we often find explanations for the behaviors and responses of today. 
 


Media Influence

The influence of the media is nothing new, and the effects today are compounded by the prevalence of technology and social networking. Our society is now influenced almost constantly, whether consciously or unconsciously. The following drawings address this issue. 
 

Hanneriina Moisseinen - Fences Illustration: CC BY-NC-ND

Fences

Populism is not only anti-liberal, it is antidemocratic.


#picturepolitics on Twitter


About Picture Politics

The current refugee crisis has inflamed populistic and extreme right-wing tendencies in multiple parts of Europe. Xenophobia spreads and encourages the fear of the unknown. Consumption of these stereotypes is constant, especially via public discourse and the media. Northwestern European countries are grappling with how to individually deal with this seemingly lasting trend. How do their perspectives relate to or differ from each other? What can be learnt from each counterpart?

The Goethe-Institutes in Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK organized workshops, exhibitions and exchanges between comic artists from those countries and Germany during 2016 and 2017. Our goal was to promote a multi-faceted and open discourse and ultimately to raise the question of how to shape the future of our societies. 

This website presents the works that were generated during the course of the project, assembling international perspectives on a number of highly relevant topics related to immigration, stereotypes and prejudice.


All pictures are subject to a CC-license (Creative Commons). Sharing and using the pictures is not only permitted but explicitly encouraged.

More About the project


The Artists

The participating Goethe-Institutes have handpicked comic artists from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK who were commissioned to contribute to the project. The artists were given a relatively free hand in regard to choosing their particular topic, approach, and the format of their drawings. 

Along with their work, the artists were given the opportunity to provide a short personal text about their subjects or stories. Not all of the artists chose to comment on their work.

Read more about the Artists

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