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UNICEF unmasks supervillain in new global comic contest

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New York: UNICEF and Comics Uniting Nations are calling on children and young people to defeat the ultimate supervillain –Silence – to help end violence in and around schools.

Silence –a supernatural character that uses its powers to stop children from speaking up and taking action against violence in and around schools – was unveiled at New York Comic Con this week to launch UNICEF and Comics Uniting Nations’ superhero comic contest. Children and young people aged 25 years and under are invited to design their own comic superhero that will defeat Silence and help keep children safe in school.

“There should be no room for Silence when it comes to children’s safety,” said UNICEF Director of Communication Paloma Escudero. “With this creative contest, we are hoping to get students, teachers, families and communities to speak up and beat Silence.”

From fighting and bullying to sexual harassment and corporal punishment, violence in and around school can have devastating, long-term consequences for children. The Silence superhero comic contest will encourage children and young people to be part of UNICEF’s global campaign to shed light on and spark action to END violence in schools through the creative medium of comic design.

The top submissions in the contest will be chosen after the closing date on 25th October by a special panel of judges, including comic artist Gabriel Picolo and last year’s comic contest winner Sathviga ‘Sona’ Sridhar. The public will then have the opportunity to vote online for their favourite comic hero between 16th and 25th November. The winner will be announced in December 2019 and will work with a professional team to turn their winning idea into a full-length comic book. Their comic will be presented to World Leaders at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations in July 2019, as well as distributed to schools and children worldwide.

Sathviga ‘Sona’ Sridhar (21) from Chennai, India, won UNICEF’s inaugural superhero comic contest in 2017. With a focus on combating climate change, her winning character ‘Light’ was a half tree-half human who uses special powers to save nature from a warming planet. The contest received nearly 2,900 submissions by young people from 99 different countries and more than 21,000 votes from 162 countries were cast to determine the winner.

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