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WATCH: Scottish social enterprise and community action set to get comic book treatment

By Hector MacKenzie

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History presented in a new format.
History presented in a new format.

Scotland’s rich history of social enterprise and community action will be retold in comic book form as part of a new project backed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will work with Magic Torch Comics to create two comic collections that will be shared in schools, online, and at national events.

The Common Good Comics Project will record and share the oral histories of organisations across Scotland and showcase material in community archives.

Work on the project is already under way but the team is looking for more groups from across Scotland to get involved.

Dr Gillian Murray, of the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at GCU, said: “The opportunity to collaborate with social enterprises and community groups to tell their stories in a way that supports them to take ownership of their history and heritage is really exciting.

“The current crisis means this is a particularly challenging time for the social enterprise and community sector, we hope that sharing stories of how people came together in the past will be uplifting and empowering for groups and organisations today.”

Caroline Clark, Director of Scotland for The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The appeal of comics spans the generations so what better way of telling the stories of one generation to another.

“Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, communities will be inspired to record their diverse social histories for others to learn from and enjoy.”

History presented in a new format.
History presented in a new format.

The project builds on the work already undertaken by Glasgow Caledonian University’s Archive Centre to create a national Social Enterprise Collection, funded by the Scottish Government.

GCU archivist Carole McCallum said: “Giving voice and vision to these stories opens up our heritage to new audiences and allows people to better understand and take pride in their own story.

“As well as a hands-on connection with the material we will be sharing our skills, offering basic training in caring for and digitising records to the communities involved. We are delighted to be part of this cross-domain team and look forward to learning from the project as much as giving to it.”

Community groups interested in taking part can contact the Common Good Comics Project team via info@magictorchcomics.co.uk

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