This article examines the ways comics contribute to nonformal education in contemporary South Africa, especially the Heart to Heart project,produced by the Storyteller Group, and Body and Soul, by the Soul City project. While Soul City follows the urban bias of many educational programs in its focus on urban stories and contexts, Heart to Heartis the result of a collaboration in which rural secondary school students produced and revised a graphic story using workshop performances to reenact and revise a story about lives similar to their own. The article shows how the comics critically engage with participants' desires for the modernity and success associated with urban lifestyles as well as life skills. It also highlights Heart to Heart's differences from many other rural culture-for-development projects elsewhere in southern Africa, including theater for development and literacy programs. It differs in its acknowledgment of the local impact of transnational cultural forms and social roles and of the appeal of texts and artifacts that represent urban success to local readers and in its effective appropriation of formal and affective features from mass-cultural entertainments like soap operas and comics for educational purposes.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.