maandag 10 juni 2013

An other side of Afghanistan in comic form

(This blogpost was published in Dutch on my blog about the graphic novel project

It has been quiet for a long time around the graphic novel project about the Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan. It was actually halted as I was busy with another project. In May this year I went to Afghanistan. Kabul to be precise. Partly because I heard and recorded so many stories, and just because I'm totally fascinated by the country.
Earlier I tried to go embedded with Dutch troops, but my drawings were not very appreciated by defense-information. They found them too shocking and realistic. Exactly! I find it very important to show reality. Nevertheless, I kept looking for a way to go to Afghanistan and I came upon a remarkable event in Kabul via the facebook page of ISAF. Sound Central Festival.

A festival for alternative music and art forms. A safe place where young people can express themselves freely and safely. I found this so special, I had to see this. I emailed the organization to visit the festival and make a journalistic comic for a newspaper, do live sketching and help anywhere needed. They were interested and took me on as one of the artists of the festival. After five months of preparation I left for 10 days to Kabul. Obviously a great experience. Also a chance to see a totally different side of Afghanistan. I met many young, courageous and inspiring people who want to build and develop the country. And of course as a Dutch, it was great to see Afghans enjoy punkrock, hardrock, metal and more. The country deserves a chance!
The graphic report was published Saturday, June 8th in the background and opinion booklet 'Vonk' of the Volkskrant. Thus one of the first journalistic comics in Dutch newspaper.

I chose this form because I found it such a special event, the report also had to impress the reader. A newspaper article about the festival is very good and the festival deserves the attention. But I hope it has a dual efficiency through comic: "Hey a comic in the newspaper! Hey it brings totally different news from Afghanistan!"
This principle is also applicable on the graphic novel project about the soldiers and veterans. I'll soon return working on this project again to try and publish the book this year. There are still some comics waiting to be inked, a number of shorter stories that need to be worked out and six additional items that are included in the book.
Thanks for your ongoing interest. Stay tuned because the project about SCF is far from over. Next week the English version of the graphic report will be published on internet.

More information and pictures about the graphic report on:

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