Dandelions. The Journey of Accompaniment is a comic that chronicles the arrival of PBI in Colombia. It illustrates the initial preparation needed to be able to work in the country and the first requests from human rights defenders so they could receive the protection needed to be able to carry out their work in the midst of the situation of violence and conflict in Colombia.
Throughout six chapters the comic shows the diverse and emblematic work that PBI has carried out in different regions during the 22 years that PBI has been present in Colombia.
According to Oscar the production of the comic has been a complex process: “I am a teller of stories and telling a real story with so much violence has been very complicated; it definitely created a challenge for us. This is why I thought that it had to be done in a more simple and subtle way, but a way that also gives hope. I felt that it was not about sweetening history, nor filling it with blood, but telling it in a befitting way by explaining what PBI and human rights defenders do in a context of such tremendous violence”.
The illustrations were carried out by María Lessmes (Oscar and Maria have already worked together in the White Dress, PBI comic about Nydia Érika Bautista), Dandelions has been her first big project. She also had to take on the challenges of narrating graphically these violent episodes, “the book is done in digital illustration, to do this we used a lot of documentation, not only the interviews that Oscar did but also the photographic material provided by PBI. All the real-life examples were hard to process: dismemberment, forced displacement, etc. I had to translate these experiences into nice drawings that manage to catch the attention of the public. To be able to draw I had to keep my hands cool as well as my head.
The launch of the comic in photos
On behalf of PBI Colombia we would like to express our gratitude for the involvement of Oscar and Maria, as well as everyone who joined us at the launch of the comic. And of course, thanks to all the brigadistas who have collaborated in the production of the comic, as well as the human rights defenders, those who were interviewed by the Oscar as well as the others who work day by day to achieve a true peace, with social justice and guarantees of non-repetition.