#ENDviolence: Superheroes against silence

In October, UNICEF and Comics Uniting Nations launched the global School Superhero Comic Contest unmasking the ultimate super villain — The Silence, a dark force stopping billions from speaking up and taking action against violence in schools.

We called on you to create superheroes to defeat The Silence and #ENDviolence in and around schools.Thousands of young people from around the world answered our call, but now we need to determine the ultimate superhero.

Meet the finalists below and vote for your favourite superhero by November 30! The winner, to be announced in January, will get to work with a professional team of comic makers, and publish their own comic book which will be shared globally to help raise awareness and inspire action on keeping schools safe and inclusive.

 

Althea


© 2018/OcampoAlthea, a superhero created by Annika Gem Francesca, uses her musical talents to inspire children to take action against school violence.

I like finding opportunities to do great things with the talents I have, and I like to see positive things about people, no matter who they are or what they possess.

© 2018/OcampoAnnika Gem Francesca, 12, Philippines, creator – Althea

Annika is a 12-year-old artist who lives in the Philippines and loves to make art.

Annika’s sister told her about the contest as an opportunity to help others through her talents in drawing, to share her abilities and spread encouragement to people facing struggles and violence in any area.

Why you should vote for Althea 

She uses her musical powers to inspire kids like me to stand up for ourselves, beat The Silence and end violence in our schools. The blue light from her music wraps her listeners and brings out their own strength and courage to stop the violence on their own.”

 

Howl


A graphic of a masked boy in a cape levitating, on a blue background.
© 2018/RogelTo combat school violence Howl created a special mask that allows her to hear everything around her and glasses that enable two people to exchange what they see.

Maybe drawings can’t change the world, but dreams do; and this is mine.

A boy in a white t-shirt, his face partially covered by a shadow, standing in front of a blue wall.
© 2018/RogelAxel, 22, Ecuador, creator – Howl

Axel feels it’s important to be contribute his skills to raise awareness to bullying in schools, an issue that affects the youngest ones. He dreams of becoming a comic artist and this contest seemed like the opportunity to be on his way there.

Comics have changed Axel’s life who now dreams of doing the same for others.

Why you should vote for Howl 

“Howl reinvented herself and now she understands those who are suffering, because she was one of them. She is a unique superhero, inspired by the best attitudes of my friends, and of people I admire; for that I am confident she can change the world, you should get to know her!”

 

 

 

 

Riposte


A sketch study of a man with mirrors as wings standing in various poses.
© 2018/PotočnikAs a survivor of bullying, Riposte uses mirrors to amplify the strongest attributes of both victims and harassers to end The Silence.

I chose to participate because I liked the idea of this contest, and, if I’m able, to positively influence others with my work.

A figure in a winter coat looks sideways
© 2018/MatićAndrej, 19, Serbia, creator – Riposte.

Andrej is a fan of comics, creative work, challenges and helping others.

Why you should vote for Riposte 

“… see him flutter from page to page in comic book form!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

iV and Ont


An illustrated image of a boy and his robot
© 2018/Vargas NolivosiV and his robot Ont, use interdimensional travel to bring a bully into a parallel dimension where they are kind to their peers. The two versions of the bully are then brought to the scene of bullying, where they speak to each other and change their actions to end the violence.

I thought this was a great opportunity to raise visibility to a problem on a global scale, through a very noble medium that has the capacity to shape thought.

A portrait of a boy holding up a tiny notebook of illustrations
© 2018/Walking Producción AudiovisualJorge, 22, Ecuador, creator – iV and Ont

Jorge is a student of Plastic Arts in his hometown Quito. Drawing and painting are his means of communication: his voice, support and channel to connect with other people. He believes that art should be a source of inspiration to believe in a better future.

Why you should vote for iV and Ont 

“My superhero is a regular person, who struggles, who studies and is afraid like everyone else. He believes in our mind’s ability to change our lives through interdimensional travel.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rajwa


A set of illustrations of a boy in various poses.
© 2018/RamliRajwa, also known as Cipta, turns her drawings into real-life objects and controls them to stop school violence. She gives children afraid to speak up her sketchbook to draw or write objects that she can control to end violence.

I wanted to challenge myself to try something that I never thought I can do. I’m glad to take the challenge.

A young girl in a head scarf smiling
© 2018/AlyaRizka, 17, Indonesia, creator – Rajwa

Rizka is a high schooler from South Sulawesi who loves coffee and bicycling. “I’m a shy person but please do not hesitate to approach me,” she says. As she was inspired to keep drawing by someone, she hopes her drawing can inspire someone else too.

Why you should vote for Rajwa” 

“I planned to create Cipta with a concept of fighting the silence with silence.”

 

 

 

U


A sketch of a child in a cape with an emblem saying 'U' on his vest.
© 2018/AliU is teacher that can put people in someone else’s place for half an hour. After seeing one of her students with a disability being bullied by her peers, she gathered her students and showed them what it was like to be in her place.

Through my story, based on personal experience, I wanted to give courage to other children who are in the same position as myself, and to help them, in my own way, chase their dreams the way that I do.

A young gilr stands in front of a wall drawing and makes the victory sign with her hand.
© 2018/PyralemidouNergiz, 12, Greece, Creator – U

Because of atrophy in her upper and lower limbs, Nergiz was teased by other children in her school. This made her feel badly about herself since a young age. For years she was afraid of speaking up, but kept looking for the right moment to express herself freely. This moment came for her last month through UNICEF’s contest.

Why you should vote for U

“Because in this way I want to reach out to children of the world who are facing bullying and to tell them to find the strength inside themselves! Αs long as we believe in ourselves, everything will happen at the right time!”

 

 

 

 

 

Verda aka Liberty Voice


A poster of a girl with a microphone on a backdrop of a red figure in a fiery red background
© 2018/WaelVerda or Liberty Voice uses the power to absorb feelings of sadness and fear from children who have experienced violence and gives them a microphone and the courage to speak. This powers her to create a ball of positive energy to freeze and destroy The Silence

I was once a victim of The Silence, but I decided not to be silenced any more.

Portrait of a girl in a white outfit
© 2017/Kodak ExpressHabiba, 178, Egypt, creator – Verda.

Habiba is an Egyptian senior in high school. She started drawing and writing short comics five years ago and is looking forward to joining the faculty of Fine Arts at university where she can develop her art skills and use her talent to make others happy.

Why you should vote for Verda

Verda is able to help anyone to talk as loud as they need to, so everyone can hear you and you will not be a victim of The Silence anymore.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milo


An illustration of a boy on a skateboard.
© 2018/PhamAfter years of bullying, Milo uses his power to transform written words into energy that can defeat The Silence. He uses his hand or shares his magical pen with students to write down their problems with violence and make their words come alive to end it.

I just thought it would be fun to participate and it’s a great opportunity to try to think of more character concepts.

Portrait of a young girl bespectacled glasses.
© 2018/DeanaChristina, 15, USA, creator – Milo

Christina says school keeps her constantly tired. Friends and family call her Chrispy.

Why you should vote for Milo

“I don’t know what to say for this part, I didn’t think I would make it this far!”

 

 

 

 

 

 


Vote now for your favourite superhero. Voting closes November 30.

 

Kristen Cordero is the Voices of Youth Digital Editor and Community Manager at UNICEF.

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