Superman may renounce US citizenship
In Action Comics #900, Superman considers renouncing his US citizenship: “I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of US policy,” the character says in a story that sees him flying to a Tehran protest. “‘Truth, justice and the American way’ — it’s not enough anymore. The world is too small, too connected.” It’s an interesting marketing move laying the groundwork for stories to come, though is less critical of American policy than it seems — after all, the US sends its brigades abroad under a self-proclaimed banner of truth and justice. (And isn’t supporting Iranian protesters the US position?)
In July 2009, I noted a study concluding that Brazil’s telenovelas have inspired both a drop in birth rate and rise in divorce. Via the Communication Initiative Network, I found a a few other items on soap operas and public health:
- A German report looks at TV soap operas in Kyrgyzstan, the Dominican Republic, and Côte d’Ivoire as vehicles for HIV/AIDS education.
- A radio soap opera in Vietnam reached millions of farmers changing their attitudes and practices managing rice pests, fertilisers, and seeds.
- Authors of a 2006 paper on a radio soap opera in Bihar, India document how it spurred fundamental, sustainable shifts in people’s values and beliefs.
- A May 2008 Master’s thesis looks at the effect of two Ethiopian radio dramas on attitutde towards reproductive health and spousal abuse.
- Fans of a radio drama in Sudan learned about, or were reinforced in, the importance of abandoning female circumcision, giving girls more control of their reproductive health, having a small family, and staying away from drugs and alcohol.
And though I couldn’t find a study on its impact, straphangers in New York City may remember Julio and Marisol: Decision, an episodic comic strip soap opera dealing with AIDS that ran in English and Spanish in NYC subway cars from 1989 through 2001.
Congo Comics and Photos
“In our attempt to bring this story [about the war in eastern Congo to access gold deposits
] to the attention of these international gold traders, Human Rights Watch and I worked together to create an exhibit of my mining photographs
in Geneva, Switzerland, where Metalor Technologies, one of the leading gold mining companies, has its corporate offices. We invited to the exhibit’s opening night gold buyers and mining company executives as well as financiers, stockholders and journalists. Immediately after seeing this exhibit, Metalor Technologies halted its purchases of Congolese gold
At about the time I was teaching these young students, I was collaborating with a comic artist, Paul O’Connell
, on an article for Ctrl.Alt.Shift
. Our partnership revolved around the idea of us combining our various skills to create new ways of delivering messages. What this meant is that Paul took my photographs from places like the Congo and transformed them into a comic strip
to tell the story to a different audience.” (via)