Culture, Religion, and Disability Make Art Together
A new comic book hero is on the way: the Silver Bullet. He is a Muslim, he is in a wheelchair, and he was created by American and Syrian children working together. Yahoo News reports:
Snyder flew 12 disabled Americans to Damascus to meet their Syrian peers, and one of their main goals was to come up with ideas and story lines for the new superhero.”The only limit was the imagination these kids had — the opportunity for a great story,” said Snyder, a comic book collector who heads HBJ Investments LLC. “They helped create something by their combined talents, and that becomes a gift to the world.”
[…]”Each of their ideas was so originally distinct, whether the Syrian kids or the U.S. kids,” he said, adding that perhaps because of their disabilities, the young people think as individuals without being influenced by outsiders. One girl, for example, wanted to have the power to combine the energy of the moon and the sun.
Devarajan said it was noteworthy that none of the young people wanted the hero’s power to be something that cured their disability.
The Open Hands Initiative was launched last November to respond to Obama’s offer to the Muslim world in his inaugural address to “extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”
Snyder said the initiative’s goal is to promote “diplomacy” between ordinary people that emphasizes dialogue, understanding and mutual respect.
The friend who sent me the article highlighted the role of creativity in empowerment; it’s “a way to show the world who these kids really are”.
May the initiative meet with success!