FEEDBACK – The Foundation’s Talks and Debates: Sketching (for) the humanitarian community

Posted by: on Nov 3, 2016 | No Comments

In October 2016, Handicap International Foundation received Nicolas Wild, an illustrator and author of comic stories, who spent two years in Afghanistan. Working mostly for the humanitarian community, he had more than enough time to get acquainted with its funny bits…


Nicolas Wild, a young author of comic stories, presenting his work during one of the Foundation's Talks and Debates © Sonia Zdorovtzoff / Handicap International

Nicolas Wild, a young author of comic stories, presenting his work during one of the Foundation’s Talks and Debates © Sonia Zdorovtzoff / Handicap International


Sketching for the humanitarian community

In 2005, Nicolas Wild, an illustrator from Strasbourg and a young author of comic stories, accepted a job in a communication agency. His mission? To turn into drawings a recently-adopted Constitution. His location ? Well … Afghanistan !

To explain the new legal framework, the Afghan government indeed resorted to using illustrations, among others means, to make sure even those who could neither read nor write would understand the new law. Nicolas Wild then went on spending two years in Kabul, the country’s capital. There, he had the opportunity to experience the Afghan culture but also to face up the humanitarian community. As a matter of fact, the communication agency he worked for provided illustrations for some of the major NGOs operating in Afghanistan. This means he had to quickly adapt to the aid workers’ jargon but also had the chance to get up close to the humanitarian community … to better caricature it.

Sketching the humanitarian community

Back in France, Nicolas Wild decided to turn his Afghan experience into a comic book, which quickly became rather successful. With two volumes out and a third on its way, the Kabul Disco series describes the daily life of expats in Afghanistan: how do they adapt to the local culture; manage to illustrate buildings that do not yet exist; interact with other expats, etc.

With a sharp sense of humour and a good eye for details, Nicolas Wild manages to describe the humanitarian community, his funny bits and contradictions, but also took the time to talk about other projects he contributed to. For instance, he recently cooperated with the French-German channel Arte over the publication of a book dedicated to refugees.

To learn more about Nicolas Wild’s project, watch the video of his intervention here.