Tomomi Shimizu has been creating manga to document real-life stories of Uyghurs kept in Chinese internment camps. According to Radio Free Asia, Shimizu has already written six books on the subject, and they were most recently translated into Turkish. She takes no payment for her work, and interviews Uyghurs who have escaped the camps so she can make her stories as accurate as possible.
“I understood that not many people can get out [of the camps], that not many people can testify about them, and so I decided to use my drawings to raise international awareness about her [Gulbahar Jelilova’s] story,” Shimizu said, referencing one of the previously incarcerated Uyghurs she worked with.
Her manga has also been translated into Uyghur, English, French, and Italian and has been credited in getting more young people involved in protests for Uyghur rights.
“Tomomi, I want to express many thanks to you,” said Jelilova, who was kept in a camp for more than a year. Jelilova is still trying to find out the fate of her cellmates and has asked more people use creative ways like Shimizu to help.
Source: Radio Free Asia
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.