Creating Comics, Songs and Poems

Article Summary by Muna Al-Jawad, Neil Singh and Gaurish Chawla

Drawing of Muna Al-Jawad, Neil Singh and Gaurish Chawla

Decolonising is now a commonly used buzzword in higher education, but what does it feel like in practice? This paper captures the reflections – both analytical and creative – of three healthcare workers and academics in medical education in the UK. We hope to make visible the complexities of attempting to change how and what we teach medical students with a view to promoting social justice, inclusion, and liberation. We use various art forms – comics, poems, and songs – to link the personal with the political, and theory with practice, in order to express important but often invisible elements which convey the deep meanings of such work. This research attempts to upset the usual hierarchy of knowledge in medical journals by regarding knowledge gained through personal experience as more valuable that that from scientific study.

Read this paper if you have ever struggled with how your identity affects your ability to practise or speak about issues of diversity and inequities. It should be a touchstone article for anyone working in medical education, clinical practice or healthcare humanities wondering how we best prepare our practitioners to be socially conscious, adaptable change-makers of the future. Qualitative researchers and artists will be interested in our methodology. Most of all we aim to show solidarity with those doing decolonising work and for others, challenge your thinking in an enjoyable way!

Listen to the author discuss the article below:


Read the full article on the Medical Humanities journal website.


Muna Al-Jawad, Neil Singh and Gaurish ChawlaMuna Al-Jawad is a senior lecturer in medical education and a consultant geriatrician. She is a queer woman of mixed Arab/British heritage. Muna makes comics as part of her practitioner research, her superhero alter-ego is Old Person Whisperer.

Neil Singh is a general practitioner and a senior teaching fellow in primary care. His heritage is South Asian, and he grew up in the UK. Neil teaches and writes about racism and healthcare.

Gaurish Chawla is a senior lecturer in the department of medical education. He grew up and qualified as a doctor in India, moving to the UK. Gaurish is actively involved in equality, diversity, inclusion and staff development.


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