During the profound global crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, women played a multi-faceted, central role in keeping relationships strong, withstanding hardship, teaching others to be resilient and moving beyond the emergency. These are things women do every day, both as professionals — over half of health workers are women — and as the center point of their families and communities, both in the global north and south and in urban and rural areas alike.
Doctors with Africa CUAMM decided to recount the experiences of four women who have been central to supporting their communities during the health emergency. Their stories take the readers on a journey into four contexts — from Africa to Italy — as different as they are similar, to look closely at what the pandemic has meant for the personal and working lives of the four women spotlighted. While the pandemic crisis has confirmed the essential role of women in their communities, we should remember that women themselves have also been the most affected by these crises, being at greater risk of job loss and health problems due to lack of care and exposure to violence.
Inspired by the personal accounts told between March 2020 and September 2021, the stories of these four women come to life through the sensitivity and creative talent of four young graphic novelists — Eleonora Antonioni, Giulia Sagramola, Marta Baroni and Lucia Biagi — coordinated by the well-known comic novelist, Giacomo Keison Bevilacqua. They managed to turn these personal stories into universal ones of courage, love and resilience.
This graphic novel tells the story of Celesta from Mozambique, Giovanna from Marche, Nuru from Tanzania, and Rossella from Puglia. Their stories help give voice to all the many women who have had the strength amongst hardship to reinvent themselves and keep going forward, taking care of others with a powerful spirit and sense of responsibility beyond their selves.
“Never give up” came out of Doctors with Africa CUAMM’s efforts part of the Italian Response to Covid-19 project to support global health education, giving the public new perspectives on the pandemic and chances to reflect on the right to health for all. This publication was made possible through the contribution of the cultural enterprise Melting Pro and with the support of USAID (United States Agency for International Development).