September 9, 2014
What’s funny about technology for global development?
contributor: Rob Goodier
You might remember a certain moment if you have ever volunteered in global development, if you have built or sold or promoted a life-changing machine in an economically depressed community. That moment is when you realized that your idea of changing lives collided with the actual lifestyle of someone in the community. And now that moment is memorialized in ink and pixels in a new series of comics called Frame Changers.
Frame Changers capture the “aha” moments in global development, when the quiet clash of cultures that hisses in the background suddenly screeches into awareness and a lesson is learned. That a lesson might be at stake should come as no surprise given that a professor helms their creation.
The comics sprang from a marathon session between Khanjan Mehta, Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Penn., and a contributing editor at E4C, and Jabez Issa, a 25-year-old wildlife painter based in Nyeri, Kenya. Mehta has built technology in developing countries working with volunteers, students and entrepreneurs for a decade. He hired Issa and the two opened the creativity tap for three weeks straight, condensing Mehta’s experience, insight, head shakes, irony, wisdom and wit into more than 200 panels.
Now the comics are posting online day by day, and we’re proud to share them with our readers and community.
Some of these panels are funny, some provoke thought, and some might even require experience in the field to really understand. Mehta has provided brief explanations for the more subtle panels, and he lets the sparse ink illustrations and brief text carry the message for most. These are a sample of Frame Changers and you’ll find the ongoing series on Mehta’s site and you can see them in your Facebook newsfeed by liking his page.