Winner of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Comics Uniting Nations’ School Superhero Comic Contest, Rizka Raisa Fatimah Ramli presented her comic book at the annual United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, held in New York.
The 18-year-old artist and activist from Makassar, Indonesia, presented her book, entitled CIPTA Create, to leaders from government, business, civil society and UN agencies, as well as 100 children and young people.
Rizka created superhero Cipta to help stop the violence and bullying that children face in schools every day in Indonesia and around the world. In the comic book, Cipta brings her drawings to life in order 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,” said Rizka. “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.”
Upon winning the contest earlier this year, Rizka began working with a team of comic book professionals in the United States to bring her concept to life. This includes a mentoring session with international comic artist Gabriel Picolo as well as a mentorship with DeCheser Media and support from Tim Lattie, known for iconic comic designs Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Plants vs Zombies and Night Stars.
Rizka worked with the team on the scripting, pencilling, panelling and colouring processes to produce a 10-page comic book. Rizka’s winning comic will be distributed to students in more than 100,000 schools across the world.
Launched in October 2018, UNICEF and Comics Uniting Nations’ School Superhero Comic Contest invited children and young people to create a comic superhero capable of keeping students safe from violence in and around schools. More than 3,600 submissions from 130 countries were entered and over 23,000 votes to determine the winner were cast on the contest website.
“Cipta is a powerful metaphor for the young superheroes all over the world taking action against violence and bullying in and around schools,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“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.”
Comics Uniting Nations is a partnership between UNICEF, PCI Media, The World’s Largest Lesson, and Reading with Pictures. Working with a wide array of artists and content creators, it aims to increase awareness concerning the Sustainable Development Goals via comics. Comics Uniting Nations utilizes the universal visual language and transformative power of comics to empower people to create positive and lasting changes in their own communities and the wider world.
The global superhero comic contest was also designed to encourage young people to participate in UNICEF’s global campaign to shed light on and spark action to end violence in schools through the creative medium of comic design.
CIPTA will be Comics Uniting Nation’s 25th comic book, all of which aim to raise awareness concerning the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.