"Welcome to the University of Bums on Seats, where we believe that nobody should be exempt from a university education. As Vice Chancellor here for the past 13 months, I have attempted to revolutionise our educational paradigm to ensure a rich diversity of abilities are represented in our student body.
It is never too late to start your education. Even at this late point in the academic year, we have many vacancies for degree-courses. We pride ourselves on our 'character-over-qualifications' admissions policy which ensures that no-one will be rejected on any grounds except non-payment of fees.
Unlike many conventional universities, our modern, economical approach to teaching is delivered by the latest computerised teaching-aids, graduate assistants, and other budget-conscious methods.
We particularly welcome applications from overseas students, and we are proud to be one of the very few universities which does not require proficiency in English as a pre-requisite to enrol.
If you have ever considered investing in your future by gaining the qualifications you may have missed earlier in life, then now is the time to apply. No questions asked.
We look forward to receiving your tuition fees."
(Prof Alan Dubious)
"So, some time ago I was shown this video 'The Story of Stuff', a project created by Annie Leonard. She is an environmentalist who worked on international environmental health and sustainability issues, among other things like Greenpeace International, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and others.
This project has, so far, 2 seasons, the first with 7 short animated videos explaining some of our everyday environmental, social and economic problems and how they're related to one another. The second season is more focused on what is behind these social, environmental and economical problems and how we can act on them."
(Letícia Neves, 23 March 2011)
Fig.1 Annie Leonard (9 November 2010). 'The Story of Electronics'
"The nation's foremost academic researchers on child online safety presented their research and answered questions over a luncheon panel on May 3. This was the first time these prominent academics have appeared together to present their research, which, altogether, represents volumes of data on the state of online youth victimization and online youth habits."
(Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, 3 May 2007)
The ongoing femicides in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, a real and socially relevant and current, ongoing news story is something that I will attempt to present using comic art, adapting Kafka's story to use as a foundation for visual treatments of real horror. The themes of metamorphosis, alienation and the collapse of a family unit are shared in Kafka's text and the news coverage of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The comics medium will be used to communicate with the audience and have them interact with the issue.
I first heard of the situation in Juarez from my Spanish teacher while in Guadalajara, Mexico and the story stayed with me. A very different Mexico was depicted closer to the border than what I had seen in my experiences of travelling around the country. The ugliness of the murders is heightened by the ongoing corruption that surrounds them. I feel confident that I can now give the story a worthy visual treatment, something that has been lacking in recent film treatments of the situation. For years, young women have been preyed on by rapists and murderers while commuting to factories on the outskirts of the city. The killings continue and, to use imagery from Kafka, the men who commit these crimes are like vermin or cockroaches.
Fig.1 David Valente (2010). "Sister Midnight". Nottingham, Issuu.
Fig.2 Screen-shots from the music video for The Drive In (2001). 'Invalid Litter Dept'. USA, Grand Royal / Virgin: 6:07.
['Sister Midnight' is a comic book created by David Valente as part of his MA in Illustration at Nottingham Trent University (UK). The comic book was developed through a process of experimentation and discovery where Franz Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' was used as a study for exposing contemporary social issues in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.]
"Among my favorite Dr. Suess stories is his tale of the Sneetches. As you may recall, these beach-dwelling creatures came in two varieties. The Star-Belly Sneetches were a snobbish sort, and the Plain-Belly Sneetches longed be like them. So, when entrepreneur Sylvester McMonkey McBean showed up on the beach with his star-making machine, Plain-Bellies eagerly slapped down cash for a ride through this contraption. The result: Their bellies now sported stars, making them indistinguishable from those born with the mark.
The native Star-Bellies were none too pleased. To remain unique, they hurried to pay McBean for a trip through his star-off machine. Now the formerly starred were starless, leaving those who began life without stars regretting their new tattoos. So, they, too, took a trip through McBean’s removal machine. Even if you don’t know the story, you can figure out where it’s headed.
As one class of Sneetches desperately sought to retain its exclusiveness, the other class sought just as desperately to pierce it. Each Sneetch paid for multiple passes through McBean’s expensive machines, till all had run out of money and no one could tell one class from another. When McBean drove off the Sneetch beach that day a very rich man, he left behind a poorer, wiser, integrated society."
(Todd Temple, Boundless.org)