Following many of the references I discussed on the second blog post of this project, I designed a children’s story book that could use collective memory as the starting point on creating peace values in Colombian kids.
The design contemplated 3 stories that combined many victims’ memories with the way they overcame the pain and ways of moving forward. It portraits feelings of hope among the difficulties showing that no matter how rough the path, we always find a way, humans are capable of great things if they learn how to heal and interiorize situations around them.
After carefully revising the stories and the moral for each one, the characters were born. Angelica, Margarita and Mario are embodying many daughters, sons, cousins, in general people from a family that has suffered Colombian war consequences.
Angelica is a 7 year old girl that lost her father due to revenges and narcos retaliations, but she has formed a very clear image of her dad and she knows he is an angel helping her from the sky, and she has learned how to forgive.
Margarita is a 12 year old girl from the rural area of Colombia that lost her house, she and her family were displaced from their home to the Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city. They learn that together is the only way to survive in the big city and be part of a new reality that they never contemplated.
Mario is a teenager that lives in Medellín but also has to leave his home and ask for asylum in other country due to the aggressive violence that gangs are imposing in his community. He sees that other people are different but they are not allowed to. Gangs set the rules and you cannot be gay, have colored hair, piercings or anything they think attempts against traditional behaviors.
The book not only contains stories but activities also that will reinforce the moral and the values they are supposed to learn in each case.
Angelica has a connect the dots activity to discover the many ways she sees her father.
Margarita has a maze to connect her and her precious family memories.
Mario has a find the differences activity to show that differences are not important, what matters is to be tolerant.
The design has received positive feedback and some proposals to be shared in other scenarios, such as governmental entities and NGO’s. However for personal reasons I want the design to maintain its independence for now. It is important that this kind of initiatives in such a polarized environment like Colombia remain to be made from the people for the people.