Kara Sievewright is an artist, writer, and designer who has published comics in many magazines and anthologies. She has been a member of the Graphic History Collective since 2015 and is currently working on a graphic novel. She lives in Daajing giids, Haida Gwaii as a settler on Haida territory. You can see more of her work at www.makerofnets.ca.
The Graphic History Collective is a group of activists, artists, writers, and researchers passionate about comics, history, and social change, founded in 2008. We produce alternative historiesl—people’s historiesl—in an accessible format to help people understand the historical roots of contemporary social issues. We have published two graphic non-fiction books, May Day: A Graphic History of Protest in Canada (Between the Lines, 2012) and Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle (Between the Lines, 2016). We are currently collaborating with artists and writers on Remember | Resist | Redraw, a radical history poster project. Our comics show that you don’t need a cape and a pair of tights to change the world. Members of the Graphic History Collective are organized with the Canadian Freelance Union, a Community Chapter of Unifor.
Introducing….Remember I Resist I Redraw
Remember | Resist | Redraw: A Radical History Poster Project is a collaborative project featuring works by artists and writers committed to promoting art, activism, and alternative history in what is today known as Canada.
Why a radical history poster project? Why now? We live at a time when it is increasingly difficult for people to dream of a better world, let alone act collectively to build one. But that is exactly what we must do. We need to organize. We need to resist. We need to win. Art and an awareness of activist history can help fuel our radical imaginations.
We agree with queer activist and historian Gary Kinsman when he argues that “to develop our radical imagination, we need to work against the systemic social organization of forgetting, and a necessary antidote to the social organization of forgetting is the resistance of remembering.” For us, radical history is an act of remembering as resistance, be it showcasing hidden histories of the oppressed and marginalized or offering alternative perspectives on well-known historical actors and events.
The imagery for the Remember | Resist | Redraw logo is based on the crowberry, an indigenous plant found in every province and territory in what is now known as Canada. It is a low evergreen plant that grows mostly in the north, in bogs and on the tundra, and it spreads by underground roots and also by migrating birds—often great storytellers—who disperse the seeds across the land. The berries are edible and nutritious and are a traditional food to many Indigenous peoples. The use of the crowberry for the poster logo is intended to draw attention to the importance of the land for radical—that is, to get to the root—storytelling in Canada.
Our goal is to create a series of accessible radical history posters that can serve as a resource for activists to lean on and learn from as they struggle to bring about radical social transformation.
We hope you will enjoy this effort to use activist art to remember, resist, and redraw the world we live in, with an eye to changing it for the better.
In love and solidarity,
The Graphic History Collective