Issa Nyaphaga is a multimedia artist and global community organizer from Cameroon, who lives in the US. He is internationally
known as an activist, political cartoonist and teacher. In the 1990s, he published cartoons, drawings, illustrations, graphic novels and comics in newspapers in Cameroon to educate and inform illiterate populations and ultimately reached 5 million readers.
He was repeatedly censored and jailed and eventually forced into exile in France. As a way of effecting change in his native country, Issa founded Hope International for Tikar People (www.hitip.com), a community-based organization that is working to improve the lives in two indigenous communities in Cameroon’s tropical forest. As an artist and human rights activist, Issa is committed to social justice and to the idea that while serving the right causes, art should make people happy, inspired and moved.
CONFLICT AREA / COUNTRY OF REFERENCE: CAMEROON
The Cartoon for Social Change project started in the summer of 2012 and targeted marginalized groups living without running water or electricity in isolated villages in the Republic of Cameroon. Over 60% of the population does not have access to education and most live in remote villages. Our first collaboration was with Bush Medicine Partnership, a US non-profit run by the medical students of Drexel University in Philadelphia for their Global Health Program. Cartoon murals were painted on the walls of buildings in 15 villages to engage villagers to build the Tippy Tap, a structure that enables villagers, especially women and children, to keep their hands clean. This simple project helps to reduce the spread of disease and decrease infant mortality. A total of 30 murals were completed reaching approximately 10,000 people. This year, If we receive funding, we hope to print and distribute a Tippy Tap Poster to illiterate populations to hang in their homes as educational tools. Logos on the poster are from partnerships with the local organizations that would help with the distribution of the posters to the isolated villages.
Cartoons for Social Change,
Tippy Tap Project,
© Artraker CIC 2014
photo by Antonio Nodar