$3,318
pledged of $20,000 goal
45
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, April 19 2013 5:27 PM UTC +00:00
SLWCS Sri LankaBy SLWCS Sri Lanka
First created
SLWCS Sri LankaBy SLWCS Sri Lanka
First created
$3,318
pledged of $20,000 goal
45
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, April 19 2013 5:27 PM UTC +00:00

About

About the project:

The Trans Africa-Asia Human Elephant Conflict Education Project will be a pioneering effort—the first time in the world where a comic artist will partner with African and Asian elephant conservationists to produce an illustrated human elephant conflict education guide.  The guide will be translated into regional languages, and laminated to withstand the rigors of remote wilderness application. The guides will be distributed to areas most affected by human elephant conflict, and will be an effective tool that will help to educate as well as provide people with valuable information to coexist with wild elephants in Africa and Asia.  

About the Artist: 

Josh Neufeld is a comics journalist known for his graphic narratives of political and social upheaval, told through the voices of witnesses. He is currently a Knight-Wallace Fellow in Journalism at the University of Michigan. As an artist, he has collaborated with such acclaimed writers as Brooke Gladstone, Harvey Pekar, and Nick Flynn. He is the writer/artist of the bestselling nonfiction graphic novel A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge (Pantheon). In addition, he is the illustrator of the bestselling graphic nonfiction book The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media (W.W. Norton). He was awarded a publishing grant from the Xeric Foundation in 2004 for his first book, A Few Perfect Hours (and Other Stories from Southeast Asia & Central Europe). His books have been translated into French and Dutch. Neufeld’s illustrations have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. To learn more, visit www.JoshComix.com.

Q & A with Josh Neufeld: 

Q: What excites you about working on projects that deal with real life subject matter?

A: Ever since I discovered the work of Art Speigelman (Maus) and Harvey Pekar (American Splendor) I've been enthralled with nonfiction comics. I love the way it subverts expectations — when most people think of comics, they think of superheroes and funny animals. And I love using comics to illuminate real lives and actual people. For me, the form is particularly suited for this type of work. There are some things you can convey in comics that you can’t express only in words. The medium’s unique combination of pictures and text, and the fragmented narrative of the panel-by-panel format, engages the reader in a particularly active role of interpretation and inference. With A.D., I wanted to bring the Katrina narratives to life, to allow the reader to see the lost possessions, to feel the broken levees and destroyed buildings, to witness the ubiquitous water lines left behind after the flooding — and, yes, even feel the terror of Katrina’s victims. 

Q: What about this project are you looking forward to illustrating?

A: I hope to do something similar with this project — to use comics to educate the world about the dangers of human-elephant conflicts to both people and elephants. I want to get the details right: obviously to draw the right kind of elephant (instead of, say, draw African elephants for the guide that will be used in Asia); but also the kind of vegetation you find in these areas, the details of the terrain, the crops, the people, their cultures, the houses they live, and the clothes they wear. It is also important to capture the mood and experience, especially the fears, concerns and issues of sharing space with the world’s largest land mammals. I’m also looking forward to using color in an effective way to make the field guide both attractive and visually informative. 

Q: Do you have any first hand experiences with elephants?

A: I've always loved elephants, both from books like the Babar series and Doctor Dolittle, to real-life encounters with them at zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. When I was a kid in San Diego, the zoo there allowed you to feed peanuts directly to the elephant — he could take them one at a time with his trunk. I'll never forget the particular textures of that trunk: rough, hairy, nimble, and gentle. Much later, when I backpacked around Southeast Asia, I visited a former logging camp in Thailand which had working elephants. Again, I was able to get close to an elephant — and it was a real thrill! They are such majestic, wise beasts, and the idea that their lives and habit are endangered really spurs me to action. 

Human Elephant Conflict:

From time immemorial people have been fascinated and been in awe of elephants. In Asia this fascination had led to the development of one of the most unique relationships that had ever evolved between a wild animal and a human. In Africa most unfortunately the fascination for the elephant is mostly to do with its ivory rather than for its’ enigmatic and wondrous nature. Today irrespective what their relationships with people had been historically, both species of elephants are in critical trouble. While the ivory crisis is the more conspicuous issue today and poaching is seen as having the more devastating impact on elephants, human-elephant conflict is a more covert but nonetheless equally lethal process that decimates elephants over the long term. 

What is unfortunate is that elephants that escape annihilation by poachers are killed without compunction and even considered a legal killing under game control laws for crop raiding. In Asia while human-elephant conflict contributes the most to elephant mortality poaching still occurs and is escalating fast influenced by events happening in Africa and due to the increasing demand for ivory in the global markets. Basically elephants are been mowed down from both ends and at this rate of killing both species will not survive to see the dawn of another century. One of the biggest challenges facing the efforts to mitigate human elephant conflict for the long term conservation of elephants is the lack of an effective educational tool to create awareness in the people most impacted by it. 

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge is the vastness of the area and scale and magnitude of the problem. The other challenges are that even though human elephant conflict is common to both Africa and Asia there are regional, geographical and cultural differences and variables that have to be given consideration. The project intends to overcome these challenges through its partnerships with local stakeholder organizations and by working with local communities that are the worst affected by human elephant conflicts. Developing the project from a bottom to top process through discussion with all stakeholders ensures that the project surmounts these challenges effectively and delivers the final project product: The Pictorial Guide to Human-Elephant Conflict Education and Resolution at the completion of the project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    We'll send you a post card from Sri Lanka, Botswana, Namibia, or Zimbabwe, to thank you personally for your generous contribution.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    We'll send you a digital copy of the first ever illustrated field guide to human elephant conflict created by award winning artist Josh Neufeld. (Guide to be completed by Winter 2013). We'll also send you a post card from Sri Lanka, Botswana, Namibia, or Zimbabwe, to thank you personally for your generous contribution.

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    We'll send you a hard copy of the first ever illustrated field guide to human elephant conflict created by award winning artist Josh Neufeld. We'll also send you a post card from Sri Lanka, Botswana, Namibia, or Zimbabwe, to thank you personally for your generous contribution.(Postcards to be delivered Summer of 2013).

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    We'll send you a signed hard copy of the first ever illustrated field guide to human elephant conflict created by award winning artist Josh Neufeld. (Guide to be completed by Winter 2013).
    We'll also send you a miniature carved elephant hand made in Sri Lanka and post cards from Sri Lanka, Botswana, Namibia, or Zimbabwe, to thank you personally for your generous contribution.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    We'll send you a signed hard copy of the first ever illustrated field guide to human elephant conflict created by award winning artist Josh Neufeld. (Guide to be completed by Winter 2013). We'll also send you a DVD copy of Common Ground - A Human Elephant Story - the documentary co-produced by SLWCS and Greener Media about human elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. In addition you'll get a hand printed batik of an elephant made in Sri Lanka, the miniature carved elephant hand made in Sri Lanka and post cards from Sri Lanka, Botswana, Namibia, or Zimbabwe, to thank you personally for your generous contribution.

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Funding period

- (30 days)