A narrative illustration is a multi-tool! Built on relationships and stories, brought to life in discussions and presentations, a graphic can be a reason to bring people together for dialogue and strategy.
A story-picture can also be a powerful backdrop in someone’s home or office, a constant reminder of the history of struggle and a reference for complicated dynamics made legible in a visual. Like a good documentary, it can change hearts and minds by reaching below our reactivity and into our shared humanity, shifting the stories we hold dear or fail to see critically by offering a reframing alternative.
A story captured in a graphic can spur people to committed action. Like the cantastoria tradition from which it descends, a narrative illustration becomes a beloved cultural artifact that builds shared understanding and solidarity in the face of oppression and exploitation.
More than just offering information bytes into our already saturated brains, a narrative graphic can connect the dots to help us make new meaning out of the information we already know. This is the battle of the story, and it forms the basis for movement building.
why we're making a drawing:
We are a crew of cultural workers exploring Pittsburgh's past, present, and future from the perspectives of people struggling for justice, with the goal of providing educational and organizing tools to multiple organizations to deepen and strengthen their work as we move through increasingly uncertain times.
We believe that to tell a sweeping yet distilled narrative about the ways Pittsburgh is changing and the power structure behind it, we need to talk to the people who are experiencing those changes most directly. We are currently interviewing individuals and organizations experiencing the most direct effects of displacement, gentrification and economic exclusion to better understand the "New Pittsburgh."
We also believe that it is impossible to understand the contemporary landscape of power in a place without both a global and historical perspective. So we're studying up on the history of the three rivers region and how patterns in global markets are influencing changes in our homes, blocks, and neighborhoods.