Comics: a tool of empowerment for Guatemalan women
The goal of the travel exhibition of comic strips is to make the world of comics an equalitarian space for men and women, while recovering the work of all the "superheroines" who have been overlooked or forgotten.
Silenced and discriminated against just because they were women - that was the fate of the "superheroines" of Spanish comics for years, but now the Cultural Center of Spain in Guatemala is displaying the colorful drawings of 50 female comic strip artists who speak and draw their own stories.
The oldest piece on show is from the 1920s, and shows women in the different stages and ages of their lives.
There she is...at age 15, still like a little girl playing with a doll while showing off a pretty bonnet with ribbons floating in the breeze...at age 20 wearing a glamorous dress as a young man approaches....at age 30 in the street surrounded by women wearing flowery hats and men wearing berets and top hats...
These images were sketched by the Catalan Lola Anglada (1896-1984), the first woman in Spain to publish a comic strip, and who worked for a number of media as the only woman they employed.
Such pictures make up part of the traveling exhibition dubbed "Present: Female Comic Artists of Yesterday and Today," organized by the Female Comic Artists Collective and which displays comic strips created by women in Spain.
"Tebeo" is the generic name for a comic strip in Spain, and comes from the name of TBO magazine, which published only comics and achieved great success, printing as many as 220,000 copies per edition back in 1935.
The traveling exhibition, which set out from Madrid in 2016 on a tour of several countries and will remain in Guatemala until Aug. 16, is organized in such a way that the oldest illustrators interact with the most modern in a "conversation" about the realities in the social panorama of their lives.
The creators of this idea belong to the Female Comic Argtists Collective, a group that began in Spain in 2013 with the idea of making the world of comics an equalitarian space for men and women, while recovering the work of all the "superheroines" who have been overlooked or forgotten.
Accompanying the exhibition are a series of activities organized by the comics enthusiast and one of the founders of the Los Garabatti group, Alejandro Alonzo, who directs an illustration workshop and a forum with Byron Zúñiga, writer of the first Guatemalan comic "Perro en Llamas" (Dog in Flames), and Gabriella Noriega, illustrator and colorist.
The founder of Los Garabatti told EFE that his goal is to immortalize Guatemala's comic artists and highlight the participation of women, which is even less and more difficult than in Spain 100 years ago