Illustration – Rizka

CIPTA: Create. The storyline of this comic book is as unusual and engaging as its name. The brainchild of an Indonesian teenager, CIPTA is a riveting tale of a school-going girl who fights bullies with peace and her sketchbook!

In 2019, 17-year-old Rizka Raisa Fatimah Ramli entered UNICEF’S School Superhero Comic Contest with a fantastic germ of an idea and her near-proficient illustration skills. Backed with these two, the youngster penned the inspiring story of CIPTA—a superhero who defeats the bayangan or evil shadow of ‘Silence’ with her superpower of conjuring peace by simply drawing it in a sketchbook.

Rajwa is CIPTA’s unassuming alias. On her first day of school, she eavesdrops upon two girls bullying a third. Hereon begins the simple yet engrossing tale of CIPTA’s battle against evil.

Selected from a swarm of over 3500 entries, this story is an exemplar of defeating bullies with openhearted communication. The sensitive storytelling traverses psychological complexities of both the bully and the bullied with commendable ease, offering readers a fresh take on an oft-neglected issue.

Violence in schools is a harsh reality that is callously pushed under the carpet in the garb of teenage hormones and by slighting it as a harmless ritual of every student’s school-life. The discourse around bullying needs to be pushed to the centre stage to highlight the diverse psychological predispositions and traumas associated with the act of bullying and exposure to violence.

While there’s a long way ahead for every child to experience a fulfilling school-life devoid of bullying, light-hearted takes on the subject such as CIPTA surely pave a path where conversations can be initiated and change ignited.

You can read CIPTA: Create here.