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13 December 2019
More than 3,000 children are welcomed in the crèches and relay houses of the Luxembourg Red Cross. The teams offer innovative educational activities there. An example? Have a cartoon produced by children on the theme of conflicts.
Whenever Andy Genen (aka ND!), Professional comic artist, remembers his first meeting with children, it is with the same tenderness. Since 2017, he has been supervising budding creators, in collaboration with educators, in four Relais Relais de la Luxembourg Red Cross houses. The intact innocence of children jumps out at him when he opens the two books printed to date: “They amazed me with their creativity, their endurance, their discipline and their concentration. In 8 sessions of 2 hours, all of them knew how to go to the end of their board, telling an understandable story in an original universe created from scratch. “
“It is often by thinking outside of convention that we find our voice and our path.”
A comic strip on conflicts
If a comic is “cool”, the conflicts are less. When the educator and ND! Introduce the subject, the young people take a little time to appropriate it, then manage to get started. Each child becomes master of his creation. “It is often by thinking outside of convention and formatting that you find your voice and your path, creating something unique and therefore interesting. “And it’s easier to get away from conventions when you’re 10 to 12 years old than later. The project has allowed some children to flourish, sometimes emerging from their shell. But, almost surprisingly, he did not have the opportunity to express more or less repressed problems. On the contrary, “immersing oneself in the process of artistic creation frees them rather from everyday life, taking them far from it. “, Smiles again the designer.
Witness the childish levity, the nature of most conflicts described: “Very few deal with war or ultra-violence. During the first edition, a little refugee girl challenged me by the originality of her line and the nature of her subject: a dad died and the whole family found him, smiling, in paradise. Thanks to the interpreter, I understood that it was not related to a situation she had experienced … but to the melodramatic telenovelas watched with family! Her story was no less touching by the poetic serenity it exuded. “
A real exchange
This project is an exchange. He brings to the children, but also to ND !, the illustrator who accompanies them: “It is thanks to this project that I got out of a certain routine in my own creations, boosted by their enthusiasm and their magnificent naivety. It is to them that I owe the existence of the new series I am working on! “