Instagram

I´m mostly on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Panama

I recently got home from a journey to Panama, me and my partner Anna Törrönen were participants in the Artist in Residency project La Wayaka Current.

We traveled to Panama a week before the start of the project so we could have some time to meet my relatives in Panama City and in the town of Boquete. I was actually born in Panama! 

The following weeks we experienced so much and the inspiration from this journey will last a long time. I will try to describe this trip in a future comic book/graphic novel. 

Here are some pictures and examples of work I created during the stay.

alt

Close to Boquete, up in the mountains, visiting my uncle´s coffee farms!

alt

Coffee beans

alt

This is a baptist church that my grandfather founded in the seventies after he and his family (including my mother) moved to Boquete from Chile.

 

In Boquete I found a pocket encyclopedia from the seventies, perfect for collage work. I did three collages.

 alt

 

alt

 

alt

 

 

 

The site for the Residency, the Guna Yala village of Armila is a precious place, as is the whole Guna Yala territory on the Carribean coast of Panama. The biodiversity is spectacular and the beach next to the village is the fourth largest nesting place for the leatherback sea turtle in the world.

alt

alt

alt

alt

The Guna people have managed to successfully fight for the autonomy of their territory and they have preserved a very interesting tradition as an indigenous people. We learned so much about their history, their mythology, their traditional art and their knowledge of the surrounding nature. 

 

alt

A Guna woman selling her Molas in Panama City.

alt

In Armila we got a lot of great opportunities to learn about the advanced technique behind the making of Molas, We also bought a bunch of them!

Soon after we arrived in Armila I started to work with two small comics with my new comic character Buna.

alt

Buna is a Kuna-version of my character Freja with I have done some children’s comics with before. I basically transformed Freja to a little Kuna girl and got the suggestion from our host Nacho to name her Buna which means cacao bean in Kuna language (dulegaya).

alt

Example of the dulegaya translation that I will use for the comics.

The main topic of the two short stories are about how Buna relates to garbage. The Kuna people have always lived closely connected to nature and all their waste have been biodegradable until recently due to more contact with ”modern societies”. There is a steady inflow of new materials like plastic, metal and electronics and since there is no system to handle or recycle the trash much of it unfortunately ends up on the beaches.

My thought was to use the Freja character to present a couple of scenarios where she experiences consequences of throwing trash in the nature. 

Armila, especially the teachers at the elementary school, are doing what they can to keep the environment clean, but I feel they would benefit from structural help from the government of Panama.

alt

Sophie and Victor from La Wayaka, Yrelia the director of the school in Armila and Anna.

As a kid growing up in Sweden I have been subjected to a lot of public information about recycling an caring for the environment, it is in this spirit I have made these comics. 

I will produce a small book and send the edition to Armila in september-october.

For me it was important that the character and the environment in the comics were relatable to the kids in Armila and not something from another culture imposed on them.

A lot of kids were hanging around me while I was working on the porch with this during the three week stay. I got the chance to get immediate feedback on the drawings and the themes.

alt

Anna having a spontaneous workshop with the super-creative kids of Armila

We also got the chance to visit other places in Panama during our stay; the Panama Canal, Colón and Portobelo for example.

alt

Colón, the ships are waiting for their turn to enter the Panama canal.

alt

Anna and I and a newly rebuilt part of the Panama canal.

alt

Our group! Nacho and Gladys with family, Miranda, Rain, Anna, Outi and Victor and Sophie. I miss all of you!