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Youth and Creativity with Etienne Kubwabo (Beats of War)

Etienne Kubwabo
October 18, 2022

Tell us your story! How did you get started and what has it turned into now?  

Hi, my name is Etienne Kubwabo and I started off by joining Clydebank College which is now known as West College Scotland. I have always loved storytelling, so I wanted to do something that had connection with it. So, I decide to do a film and communication course, which has now given my all skills I use today to direct my films and write my comic books. I will always be grateful to the lectures at Clydebank College, for pushing me more.  

What is the importance of Black superheroes to you? How do young children engage with your work?  

Black superheroes are important because I see my young self, 5-year-old Etienne, being empowered, represented and knowing that I can take on any challenge the world throws at me. Young people often get involved in workshops that I run. The most important part of the workshop is to help kids imagine the world they want to live, using superheroes. It always an exciting process which they love so much, and to be honest, they always have better ideas than me.

What is your favourite part of leading comic book workshops? Did you identify anything with young people and creativity you hadn't thought about before?

The power to open your mind to imagination, that takes you off our planet into the cosmos. The kids are not afraid to create anything. Often, older groups in my workshops are scared to draw and come up with ideas, but kids are willing to fail and improve as they go. Young people always have the best ideas.  

What are your reflections on the Black creative experience during today's climate? Has anything changed?

Today black creatives are getting a voice, through different ways and it’s exciting. I don’t think there has been a huge change between when I started and now, but the only thing is that there are more black creatives and it's so nice to see, because most of our culture doesn’t encourage this at the young age, but I am glad that the generation today is creating more. I mean, where would the world be without imagination and creation?

How can communities best support Black creatives in their field?

Buy their products, support their shows, ideas and give them a platform to showcase how talented they are.

Purchase your own copy of Beats of War here!

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