The search for a universal graphic language, initiated at ELISAVA, has reached its peak this May 13th with the presentation at the Biennale di Venezia of the first tactile comic-book that can be understood by everyone, meaning that it can be read by the blind and by people with visual impairments, besides by people who sees perfectly.
Figure one: Presentation of the project at la Biennale. From left to right: Max, Roc Parés (co-curator), Antoni Abad, Mery Cuesta (co-curator), Manuel Forcano (Director of Institut Ramón Llull) and Santi Vila (Conseller de Cultura).
The initiative, brought to life in the project of Antoni Abad ‘La città che non si vede’, is part of the Catalan proposal for the art biennale, titled “Catalonia in Venice 2017. La Venezia che non si vede”, and Mery Cuesta, Director of the Master in Illustration and Comic of ELISAVA, is its co-curator. The final comic-book has been made by the renowned illustrator Max and it shows embossed drawings and graphic signs, as well as texts in both ink and Braille.
Research workshop in ELISAVA
In order to find this unique language, understandable by everyone, Max directed together with Cuesta a research workshop counting on students of the mentioned Master and members of ONCE with vision problems.
Together they tested how to draw their environment, by using clay no create embossed cartoons, which they were thermoformed afterwards.
Together they discovered that this common language should transcend purely visual elements like text bubbles or kinetic lines, which are incomprehensible for the blind.
This was how a unique via of communication took its first steps at our School, occasioning what is the first tactile comic, co-created and validated by people with visual spectrum.