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Thin Line

MirandaNet

Hermitage Primary School, Wapping

Comic-Strip Project on Homelessness

Date: 26th September 2003

Itís a rainy Tuesday afternoon, and two young people are sitting in a drop-in centre for homeless people. A middle-aged man wearing a guardsmanís outfit with a big key in his back walks over, carrying mugs of tea. "Iím Eric by the way... so who are you two?"

That's the beginning of moving illustrated story written and illustrated by children at a school in Wapping, as part of a project on Homelessness.

You can find out more about this project by reading the detailed report which was published on this site in April 2003, and you can download the complete story (1.7MB) in PDF format by clicking here.

 

Living

Opening Screen

Closing Screen

Putting homelessness in the picture

Bringing important issues to the attention of children is always a difficult task - and the aim of the project at Hermitage School is to engage young people aged 9-11 with the topic of citizenship and homelessness. The media used to instruct the pupils about the various aspects of living rough were comic strip and video.

This is the compilation of the childrens’ efforts, combining word and image to illustrate and educate in equal measure. The children were charged with producing their own comic strip about homelessness. This meant putting together a script and adapting it into comic strip form, each pupil working on a single panel of the storyline. They were tutored in comic-book storytelling by a number of experienced professionals from Britain’s long-running weekly science-fiction comic 2000 AD.

The homelessness charity Crisis, Mirandanet, Creative Partnerships and Domex, supported the whole project. The finished comic - entitled Living was put together by 2000 AD’s in-house design department. As well as the educational process, Living works as a starting point too enabling the pupils to learn more about the issues raised by the project and perhaps take their foray into the world of comics even further...

Over to you ...

Our story ends with Daljit and his new friend, Jane, heading off to get some food; Eric, the ‘Clockwork Guardsman’, is left to meet his friend and make further plans for his new career - but what might happen next?

  • Dali had problems at the hostel he lived in - do you think he should try again? Perhaps there are different kinds of hostels - how could Dali find out? Or would Dali be better off living on the streets? If he does get a new home, what should he do then?
  • Jane ran away to London to escape the bad crowd she'd been mixing with. But are all homeless people criminals - or are most of them ordinary people, like Jane? Do you think Jane should try to go back to her old home town, or should she stay in London?
  • Eric has begun a new career as a street entertainer. Do you think he'll be successful? What problems might he face? Could his drinking problem return - and what might he do to prevent it? Are there more, or less, problems for people that become homeless in middle-age?

These are just a few points to think about. You could even invent your own stories about these characters, or make up new characters of your own!

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