Cartoon of the month: FIFA doing it for the street kids?

Barefeet are coming!

Who are Barefeet, I hear you ask? From very humble beginnings armed only with face paint and a drum or two, Barefeet have been helping children living on the streets of Zambia for seven years. Co-founder Tobias Tembo, his colleagues and friends explain the uniqueness of the Barefeet story as they educate through entertainment (a clip worth watching). (more…)

Erasure and the World Cup

Photo: sportv.globo.com
Photo: sportv.globo.com

The balls for this year’s FIFA World Cup were made by predominately female workers earning €122 a month in the Forward Sport factory in East Pakistan.

These women are Ronaldonianly, Messiesquely good at what they do. Their factory got the FIFA contract at very short notice after a Chinese supplier fell through: the women had one month instead of the usual six to produce world-class work. They succeeded.

It is difficult to imagine a World Cup without Messi; it is also difficult to imagine a World Cup without footballs. Messi makes €2.7 million a month, plus endorsements. These women make the minimum wage in Pakistan – and while they were proud of their efforts, we hardly acknowledge them.

This erasure is an offshoot of the greater World Cup paradox. (more…)

‘Redrawing and re-writing’ World War 1

'No more than cattle' page 1. By Colm Regan and Mike-Lito
First page of ‘No more than cattle’ in To End All Wars. By Colm Regan and Mike-Lito

Developmenteducation.ie cartoonist Brick (aka John Clark) has teamed up with co-editor Jonathan Clode and 51 other contributors and graphic artists (including this author) to deliver a graphic anthology of 27 short stories on the First World War – To End All Wars  to be published July 2014 by Soaring Penguin.

In introducing the project, John argues:

‘The so-called ‘Great War’ was the first truly multinational war, the first heavily mechanised war, the first oil war, the first fought to the benefit of capitalists on both sides, the first to murder millions of civilians and the last orchestrated by kings, barons and lords as if it were a ripping game of polo. It was the first to wipe out whole streets of young men and destroy the lives of millions of mothers and lovers, two generations of women who grew old as widows and spinsters, enfranchised and empowered to become career professionals. The changes needed to welcome in the 20th Century were always going to involve a vicious bloody struggle far greater than the French and American Revolutions combined.

This anthology doesn’t pretend to tackle these issues, but it does aspire to free WWI from the censorship imposed by London and Berlin before the first man fell, blinkers that still cramp our reading of this holocaust. Offered up by creators working in a medium that was barely a foetus in 1914, it is our humble tribute to the ten million combatants sacrificed… for what?’

(more…)

New multimedia resource brings stories of climate change, water and Bolivia into the classroom

slide 11.4 rescuing possessions quillacollo
slide 11.4 rescuing possessions quillacollo, by The Democracy Centre (Bolivia) 2014.

Situated in the centre of the South American continent, Bolivia has a geography that combines high mountain regions in the Andes with large areas of the Amazon rainforest. Not so long ago experts would describe it as a ‘front line’ country for the impacts of global climate change.

But the changes that communities there have been feeling for some time are now beginning to affect us all. However, unlike some richer nations, Bolivia and countries like it are among the least equipped to adapt to these changes- their geographical vulnerability compounded by high levels of economic and social vulnerability.

The Democracy Center, a research and advocacy NGO with a long history of transmitting Bolivian experiences to a global audience, has just launched an online multimedia resource for educators focusing on the impacts of climate change on Bolivia’s water. (more…)