So far, the collaboration has delivered three successful Tate Exchange projects looking at how comics and zines can be tools of expression whilst improving literacy and overall wellbeing.
Dr David Hering, the project lead, is a Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at the University of Liverpool. Comics Youth is a non-profit Social Enterprise that delivers comic and zine reading and creation workshops to disadvantaged and marginalised young people aged 8-25 within the Liverpool City Region.
Illustrating Futures 2018 took place in October 2018 at Tate Liverpool, following on from the success of the 2017 residency. Next year the collaboration are hoping to take the project to Tate Modern in London.
Image credit: Comics Youth
Comics have a unique capacity to communicate complex issues relating to discrimination, marginalisation, health and wellbeing, and this is taken as the starting point to engage the audience and get them involved in the creative process.
The series of activities used this narrative potential of comic book and zine art to explore the links between comics and mental wellbeing, and tackle isolation by asking young people to turn their stories, thoughts and feelings about loneliness and exclusion into an art display at the Tate Liverpool exchange space.
Dr David Hering said, "Illustrating Futures 2018 was a great success for us at the University of Liverpool and Comics Youth CIC. The Tate Exchange allowed us to present an exhibition of work that underpins our current research into the efficacy of graphic medicine (the use of comics and sequential art in the treatment of mental and physical health) and enabled us to communicate our research to a large public audience, including schoolchildren, teachers and university students and staff."