About

Communication has an essential say in the area of peacebuilding in Ukraine. Creative communication, moreover, may facilitate dialogue building around societal sometimes hot topics. Thus, comics, vivid and dynamic, can literally draw complex issues in understandable ways for everyone. For example, comics can show how armed conflict in eastern Ukraine changes the lives of the youth, who live in the areas along the ‘contact line’, or tell about the lives of returning to civilian life ATO and JFO ex-combatants. Or comic books can tell about domestic violence as one of the most important hot societal topics in the world, to which children are most vulnerable.

However, to talk about complex societal topics is no easy task. Especially when the stories depict real people and describe familiar to many of us real-life situations. The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme has created 4 comic book stories about the reality that is hard to find words to describe, but which touches everyone:

“Heroes of light” – a comic book about combating domestic violence against children of younger school age, and “New start” – is about combating domestic violence against older school-age children. Both comic books show us situations that anyone can encounter. Both books give the reader the necessary information about where to go to get help and how to do it if domestic violence occurs.

“Sounds of peace” – a comic book about the young people who live in the areas along the ‘contact line’, about their achievements, dreams, and about such a close reality of the armed conflict changing their whole life.

“On the other side” – is a graphic story about returning to civil life ATO and JFO ex-combatants. This story is about people trying to bring sense to their past, trying to find themselves in the present life and make a worthy future for themselves and their close ones.

This graphic stories project aims to disseminate digital and printed comic books for each book to find its audience among children, the youth, and the adult population. The comic books are based on real-life stories or on real personal stories.

The creative team

Lilia Omelianenko
Lilia Omelianenko
Role in the project The publishing house 'Vydantytstvo' project manager
Publisher, co-founder of the Publishing House publishing house, the main focus of which is social literature.
The team member says
Such an approach to presenting the problems and drawing attention to them is, in my opinion, innovative for the Ukrainian market and for our readers in general. I believe that these graphic stories will motivate those who are in such difficult situations, and that they will find their way and right solutions after reading our books of drawings.
Ilia Strongovskyi
Ilia Strongovskyi
Role in the project Art director of the project who contributed to making-up
Co-founder of the Publishing House publishing house, designer, collage maker.
The team member says
I am proud of every story with which we have debuted with the books of drawings, we have managed to make each of them special, and I hope they will not only fulfill their objective, but also inspire readers to their own creative work.
Sisters Maryna and Oksana Artemenko
Sisters Maryna and Oksana Artemenko
Role in the project Authors of the script of the Heroes of Light comic book
Screenwriters, members of the Ukrainian Film Academy.
The team member says
Our first experience with comic books. And only now, after it is ready, do we understand how important and needed this book is!
Artem Chekh
Artem Chekh
Role in the project
Author of more than ten prose and non-fiction books. From May 2015 to July 2016 he served in the Armed Forces. Married, raises a son.
Kateryna Bazarova
Kateryna Bazarova
Role in the project Responsible for making up and alphabetical rubrication
She has been working in graphic design for more than eight years, 5 of which she has dedicated to localization of Ukrainian comic book editions; her portfolio already includes more than fifty comic books.
The team member says
This project is incredibly important for each of us. It teaches us to be strong and brave, not to be afraid to act and to protect each other.
Zhanna Ozirna
Zhanna Ozirna
Role in the project Plot writer of the New Start comic book
Film director and screenwriter, author of the All about storytelling blog. Member of the Ukrainian Film Academy and the Ukrainian Guild of Film Directors.
The team member says
What I want most is to believe that this project will really fulfill its mission, and the booklets will fall into the right hands to make this world a little better and fairer.
Beata Kurkul
Beata Kurkul
Role in the project The On the Other Side comic book artist
2D artist, Lithuanian citizen, she has been living in Ukraine since 2008.
The team member says
She says about the comic book that "it will be an exciting quest".
Svitlana Taratorina
Svitlana Taratorina
Role in the project Author of the script for the Sound of Peace comic book
Writer, author of the Lazarus fantasy novel and of an artistic biography for children about Maria Primachenko This Is the Maria Who Painted Animals. Winner of the 2018 LitAccent Award and the CHRYSALIS AWARDS nomination from the European Science Fiction Society.
The team member says
Became significant for me, and conversations with the characters turned my world upside down. It is critical for our society to learn to hear each other.
Zhenia Oliinyk
Zhenia Oliinyk
Role in the project Illustrator of the Heroes of Light comic book
Illustrator, cartoonist, graphic journalist, and culture researcher. She mainly works on the themes of human rights, inequality, feminism, and education.
The team member says
I hope that the comic book will not only raise awareness about domestic violence, but will also fall into the hands of those who suffer from it and help them to find a way out of this situation.
Anna Tarnovetska
Anna Tarnovetska
Role in the project Worked on the visual part of the New Start comic book
She has been drawing comic books for almost 5 years. She studied illustration and easel graphics at Wroclaw OPT (Ośrodek postaw twórczych).
The team member says
At some point, this comic book ceased to be just an order, but also started bringing a lot of joy not only with the drawing process, but also with communicating with the other people in the team and realizing that you are doing something important.
Dmytro Koidan
Dmytro Koidan
Role in the project Colorist who created the Sound of Peace book of drawings
Illustrator, designer, colorist.
Serhii Chudakorov
Serhii Chudakorov
Role in the project Worked on the Sound of Peace comic book, his third project on the aftermath of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The author and artist of the comic books: Kimka the Traveler, The Iceman: a Wim Hof Story, A City of Thousands of Villains, Super Team Against Mines, Hero Without a Mask, Consume Responsibly.