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  • Lisa Dewberry

Youth artist unveils comic book to end school violence

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

Rizka Raisa Fatimah Ramli, youth artist and activist from Makassar, Indonesia, unveiled her new comic book to help keep children and young people safe from violence in and around schools at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on 16 July in New York. The 18 year old winner of UNICEF and Comics Uniting Nations School Superhero Comic Contest, launched in October 2018, presented her comic book titled CIPTA (Create) to leaders of government, business, society and young people at the event. Why was this superhero created?

Rizka created her superhero Cipta to help stop violence and bullying that children face in and around schools every day around the world. In the comic book, Cipta is brought to life to defeat invisible forces and restore peace in schools. “I hope Cipta can inspire others to take action, especially those that are afraid to speak up. Through the comic I want to help other young people overcome their fears and use their own superpowers to stop bullying and violence including through art and expression such as drawing, writing, activism or acting,” she says. What has Rizka been up to since winning the contest?

Rizka has been working with a team of comic book professionals in the United States to bring her concept to life since winning the worlwide contest earlier this year. This includes a mentorship with DeCheser Media, support from Tim Lattie, known for his iconic comic designs of Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Plants vs Zombies and Night Stars and a mentoring session with international comic artist Gabriel Picolo. She worked with the team on scripting, penciling, paneling and colouring processes to produce a 10 page comic book named after her winning superhero, Cipta. The UNICEF and Comics Uniting Nations’ School Superhero Comic Contest called on children and young people to create a comic superhero that can keep students safe from fighting, bullying, sexual harassment and corporal punishment, which can have devastating, long-term consequences for children. What was the aim of the competition?

It aimed to encourage them to be part of UNICEF’s global campaign to shed light on and spark action to #ENDviolence in schools through comic design. The superhero comic contest had over 3600 entries from young people from more than 130 countries and more than 23 000 votes were cast on the contest website to decide the winner. “Cipta is a powerful metaphor for the young superheroes all over the world taking action against violence and bullying in and around schools. As we mark the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, I have no doubt that young people around the world, including Rizka, will inspire world leaders to take action for the rights of every child,” says Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. Rizka’s winning comic will be distributed to students in more than 100 000 schools globally. For more information visit the Comics Uniting Nations website: www.comicsunitingnations.org.

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