About the project

‘Comics for Sustainable Lifestyle’ is a program developed by the international NGO network Global Action Plan with the support of the Swedish Institute, and in cooperation with several organizations in Belarus. From Belarus the program has already (2012) spread to Kosovo and India, and several more countries are interested.

An early Belarusian attempt to use comic books in environmental education was launched on International Water Day in 2002, with a comics contest among schoolchildren learning French. Lydia Pshenitsyna drew ‘water’ stories told by two young environmentalists, and invited students to come up with the end of the story. This contest aroused great interest and participants drew their own stories, in French, about water protection. However, the competition was a short-term phenomenon, and there was no follow-up.
In 2007 Global Action Plan, in the course of a project meeting in Belarus, asked about interest in exploring comics as a tool for education for sustainable development. Subsequently a first workshop was held in Minsk in 2008 for professionals and students. Esbjörn Jorsäter, Swedish comics teacher, and Marilyn Mehlmann, Global Action Plan, designed the workshop, which was supported by the Swedish Institute in the person of Judith Black.

Since then several workshops have been held in Belarus. An exhibition and seminar with the participation of students and teachers from Belarus and Russia was held in 2009 at an international educational centre in Minsk. In 2010 the program was presented with a mini-workshop at an international conference in Paris on Sustainable Development, Culture & Education.

These many, different events built on a shared methodology of empowerment, and a shared focus on the concept of a sustainable lifestyle.