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Illustration as research from within the field is of relatively new practice. The illustrators discourse on representation (Yannicopoulou & Alaca 2018 ), theory (Doyle, Grove and Sherman 2018, Male 2019, Gannon and Fauchon 2021), and critical writing on illustration practice was hardly found before The Journal of Illustration was first issued in 2014, followed by artistic research through illustration (Black, 2014; Rysjedal, 2019; Spicer, 2019). This research project developed as response to a rise in hate crime towards refugees and the targeting of European Jews in recent decade. A pilot project (This Is a Human Being 2016-2019) treated how narratives of the Holocaust may avoid contributing to overwriting of history or cultural appropriation. Asking how illustration in an expanded approach may communicate profound human issues typically considered unrepresentable, this new project hopes to explore representation and the narratives of “us” and “the others” in the contemporary world through illustration as starting-point for cross-disciplinary projects. The participants from different disciplines, have interacted democratically on common humanist themes to explore the transformative role of illustration in contemporary communication. our projects should afford contemplation of illustration as an enhanced, decelerated way of looking; and drawing as a process for understanding - a way of engaging in understanding the other, as much as expressing one’s own needs (McCartney, 2016). This AR project consisted of three symposia and three work packages, and the artistic research unfolded in the symbiosis of these elements. Our investigation of illustration across media and materials continues as dissemination and exhibitions even after the conclusion of the work packages in 2024.
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