Open Talk


(Old Mutual: 1993)


The was the first comic project I got involved in. I was doing behavioural research at the South African institute of Medical Research at the time. Neil Verlaque-Napper and Carol Rifkin of the Storyteller Group challenged me to help them create a comic resource on HIV/AIDS that did not reproduce the familiar and clich├ęd AIDS education messages and innovated a fresh approach. Together we developed five short stories dealing with the challenges of talking openly about sex. I then helped Carol facilitate workshops with the target groups in order to test content and generate further ideas. She then put these into a comic script. The artwork for Open Talk was created by Vusi Malindi.

In 1995 the new South African government rated Open Talk as the top AIDS education resource (together with Roxy Comic). I was then asked by Storyteller Group to develop Open Talk's Facilitator's Guide and Open Talk's User's Guide

Here is one of the five stories from Open Talk.
The sponsors considered this particular story so controversial that they almost removed it.