The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region havelaunched the 5th edition of their ‘Books - Made in UAE’ project, with the activity officially sponsored by Knowledge without Borders (KwB), an organisation committed to instilling a passion for reading in children.
Inaugurated on Sunday (April 24), the latest edition of the ‘Books - Made in UAE’programme sees12Emirati and Arab UAE-resident illustrators taking part in a ‘Manga’ comic art workshop, which runs until Thursdayat Dubai’s Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children (AJCCC).
“We are delighted to launch the 5thedition of ‘Books – Made in UAE’ project with our strategic partner Goethe-InstitutGulf Region. This year’s edition coincides with the declaration of 2016 as a Year of Reading in the UAE by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It is also in line with the vision of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of UAEBBY, which seeks to build the capacities of young Emirati authors and illustrators and to hone their skills so that they can produce thrilling titles that attract children and young people to reading regularly,” said Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board.
“The 5thedition of ‘Books - Made in UAE’ is officially sponsored by KwB, the pioneering cultural project. Our allied goals, visions and objectives tie us together and enable us to form mutual strategic relationships that will allow us to fulfil our shared goal of creating a passion for reading in Arab youth. By the end of the Manga workshop, we hope to have produced artwork that can compete and win the right to be published and distributed through the ‘1001 Titles’ initiative, which was launched by KwB in February this year,” she added.
Dr. Gabriele Landwehr, General Director of the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region, said; “The workshop with German comic artist and mangaka Inga Steinmetz focuses on comics and particular on mangas, a genre that has rapidly increased in popularity in the UAE within the last couple of years. Comics are fascinating and particularly attractive for young people, helping them to explore their environment in their own special way. With our workshop, we want to inspire new and more local emerging artists to enrich their knowledge of new forms of storytelling and support them in building their confidence in their skills and capabilities.”
Conducted by renowned German comic artist and ‘Mangaka’ Inga Steinmetz, the five-day Manga workshop activity has been devised to help comic artists produce and develop new stories, with an emphasis on creating engaging illustrations.
On the first day of the workshop, the participants were introduced to Manga techniques used in the drawing of facial expressions, emotions, hair styles and clothing. They were also given tips on background visualisation, perspective and how to use time effectively while narrating a story.
“I am extremely grateful to UAEBBY, Goethe-Institut and KwB for giving me this great opportunity to meet these talented and innovative young authors and illustrators whose inspiring ideas will play a major role in promoting Manga comic art across the UAE,” saidInga Steinmetz.
Commenting on her personal experience, Steinmetz added; “My passion for comics started along time ago and I have always considered Manga-comicsas being particularly good fun. Comics are a medium used to express ideas by a series of images, often combined with textdevicessuch as speech balloons or captions. Pictures and words are arranged in such a fashion as to narrate a story dramatically.”
Steinmetz pointed out that this form of art often opens doors to cinema production. If a story achieves success and makes a profit, she said, production companieswill adapt the story into a film, a serialor a video game, depending on the nature of the story.
‘Books – Made in UAE’ is a project launched in 2011 by UAEBBY and Goethe-Institut Gulf Region. It aims to support and develop the creation of children’s and young adults’ books by Emirati authors and illustrators that reflect the cultural values of the UAE. Over the past five years, the project has sought to build the capacities and skills of young Emirati writers, illustrators and publishers under the supervision of a group of internationally renowned experts in the field.