Being the voice of the voiceless through comics

Expanding beyond the norms, #ResponsibleReclamation is an environmental education project with a unique blend of creativity and simplicity into communication of engineering theory and jargons. This project was initiated by Dr. Poovarasi Balan of Monash University Malaysia for one of her teaching courses known as Environmental Impact Assessment and Management, offered for final year chemical engineering students, specializing in sustainable streams. Breaking the norms of a typical engineering assignment, the students enrolled in this course were required to integrate their engineering knowledge using creative stimuli in visual art to generate a comic book, aimed at creating environmental awareness amongst the younger generation.

The project led to a closely knitted collaboration between Dr. Poovarasi Balan (Principal Investigator) and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), secured an education grant (EE/LTG_09/2019/01) by the Education Excellence Unit of Monash University Malaysia in August 2019, for the community outreach program, extending the shelf-life of her class assignments beyond the walls of classrooms to serve a bigger purpose.

The comic stories produced are thematically crafted based on land reclamation in Malaysia and the role of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in tackling these issues. The comic collection features the voice of the voiceless, be it the endangered species or the affected community of people, covering the wide spectrum of perspectives of fishermen to turtles. The stories depict the environmental degradation caused by land reclamation activities in various states of Malaysia and the social responsibility that comes along with it.

An online learning platform consisting of educational comics, games, printable worksheets and comprehensive questions related to the theme has been created for students learning.  Interested teachers who wish to gain access to the platform can click the link below and fill up the form available.