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Why cartoons are better than my Inglish?

Posted by Ariel Halpern Monday, August 27, 2012

Why cartoons are better than my Inglish?

Dear colleagues, as IFAD is using lots of visual tools for getting the message across cultural borders we would like to share our small experience with the Learning Routes Cartoon. For PROCASUR cartoons, animation, comics, videos and photos are making easier to disseminate our proposal and most important to open fruitful conversations. Difficult topics as south-south cooperation, Learning Routes or social innovation are easier to comprehend through visual tools, especially if they reflect concrete situations the group feels empathy with.
This cartoon was built one year ago and is doing its job when talking to farmers, indigenous people, project directors, ministers, donors and professionals in Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Even at IFAD HQ, Rome!


When this Cartoon was created we were stuck in trying to communicate to diverse audiences how a Learning Route looks like, what its main principles, dynamics and partners are. It took us three months to build the Cartoon and as it´s programmed in flash we can easily change all the texts – that´s just about 25 words in total - to different languages. In this way, the cartoon is available now in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French and at very low cost can be adapted to any other language. One very important critic we have received so far is that even it reflects the cooperation among practitioners from the South, all the participants are men. Definitely we must correct that. Also to make it less than one minute long and add some music. Cartoon 2.0 will be out soon.

At the moment we are working in animations and comics that tell the story of our hosts and routes learners. This time we choose animation/cartoon over comic as we found easier for the grass-root organizations to understand a moving narration than to organize ideas frame by frame as the comic does. Also because the animation allows the facilitator of PROCASUR activities to talk over it as it´s displayed, helping us to reach the concrete group we are working with at that time. 

We are very kind to participate in these conversations and exchange with others trying the visual way to make ideas travel faster. Many thanks and sorry for my writing, cartoons are better than my Inglish.

Ariel Halpern
Learning Routes Programme for the Asia and the Pacific
PROCASUR Corporation