February 22, 2009

Saying it with comics: Girls Matter

Filed under: interview — newritings @ 10:47 pm



This week we interview the illustrator Myriam of a new comic about gender empowerment entitled “La Cenicienta que no quería comer perdices”- literally translated to mean “The Cinderella that did not want to eat the partridges”. Translation by Marta Garrich. Unfortunately, the book is currently available only in Spanish. In solidarity. H

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Who are you and how did you come about doing this work?

We are a team of two Nunila and Myriam. Nunila is an underground storyteller, known in occupied houses and suburbs in the Basque Country and Catalonia, whilst I, Myriam Cameros, work as a mural artist, drawing in walls, etc., and I have also worked as a graffitist (grafittiartist) and other alternative projects, although I have also collaborated with clothes brands, press… and so on.

What influenced you? What were you guys aiming at when you started this project?

A few of our friends have experienced gender violence and we know its negative consequences (to self-esteem, disempowerment, etc). So we set out to achieve one main goal and that was to get children get rid of concepts such as “I’m nothing without you”, which, in the main, puts one’s own happiness into the hands of  someone else.  Through this project, we thought we could make a contribution towards shortening the path to self-discovery and confidence.

Tell us a bit more about the book, how long has  it been in the making?

Answer: The writing and drawing was the easy part. When it was completed, it lay waiting in the closet for 4 long years, completed. We went knocking on doors of various publishing houses looking for a publisher – but with no success. Then one day we thought, why not publish it ourselves? It was a logical conclusion, since we did not have the financial means nor publisher. We then started by sending email to our closest friends, asking them to  join us in our endeavour. We were offering them the opportunity to buy a set of ten books for 100 Euros (payments in advance!). This was a great  success as we had never expected that soon after sending our mail we would be getting such favourable responses from countries like Morocco, Chile, various parts of Spain, etc. who all wrote to us, supporting our project and seeking to buy  the book.

What also surprised us was the response from the publishing houses, who after seeing what was happenning online, now wanted to talk to us.  We have not responded yet, but for now, what we can confirm is that this first edition is done solely by us—maybe we will see later on…

Where can we keep intouch with what you are doing on this and other projects?

The following are our blogs where we keep track of the stage of the adventure:

Finally, what can you tell us about the experience of publishing the book, about how you thought of sending that first email to your friends, about the unexpected responses (Here we must add that be love the fact that, different from what seems to be a progressive social marketing strategy. Let us explain, generally speaking in traditional online marketing, by various agencies one will find the authors or publishers only make available one song or a few seconds of it. In the case of a book, similarly, some pages or chapters. In contrast you s have chosen to circulate the book itself, with such great feedback… to us, it is a proof that other  ways of working and learning, apart from the fact that the quality of your work has convinced many that wish to have that pdf in a book format at home…)(yes!“another world is possible”),

Answer: Hahahhahaha (laughter) Probably the best marketing strategy for us to be honest is to have no marketing strategy. We simply wished to introduce into the marketplace a “product” (if you like) that we thought necessary and needed in schools, homes, etc. and since no big bosses provided support… self-publishing looked like the only way out. We thought that this is how the book will reach most people: those who cannot afford to buy it, who will read it on the web, via blogs like this one, or via email (pdf version) – in some way it belongs also to them … and secondly, those who can pay for the book, will have it in the book format, and thus, it too, belongs to them, in another format. So at the end of the day it belongs to all. In future, we hope to build on this and hopefully with the resources work on a new project (a new book on racism), without having to constantly think about the rent.

1 Comment »

  1. It’s a Wonderful Story. Last week I presented at the Congress Palace in Valencia, a communication on the work done with the story as a Psychoeducational tool in a group of women.Has been a very interesting experience.
    Miklou (mental health nurse).

    Comment by Miklou — April 13, 2009 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

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