Windsor artist wins bursary for Black, Indigenous comic creators

A Windsor artist has won a bursary for Black and Indigenous creators from a comics publisher.

Winner's mini-comic will focus on politics of Black hair

Talysha Bujold-Abu has won the first annual Conundrum Press Mini-Comic Bursary. (Nola Cooks)

A new bursary for Black and Indigenous comics creators has been won by a Windsor artist and illustrator.

The $1,000 bursary from Conundrum Press is for emerging artists to support the development of a mini-comic.

 "It's allowing me the space to kind of grow and create within a new facet of my artistic process, as well as kind of stating to Windsor, or Ontario overall, that we are building and creating space for more Black and Indigenous creators where there has not been space before," winner Talysha Bujold-Abu said in an interview with CBC Radio's Windsor Morning on Monday.

Her comic will explore the politics of Black and biracial hair and "instances of hair politics within the everyday," she said.

"(Hair politics is) something in consideration to both racism, identity and Black excellence and empowerment," Bujold-Abu said.

Bujold-Abu said wants to see people like herself represented, and she also hopes to have a little bit of fun with the project as well.

"I'm building a space to see myself reflected in the world around me, and by extension I'm hoping that other Black people of colour that experience hair politics will feel represented, and in that same way, hold space for Indigenous creators to also talk about this work in future iterations." 

Bujold-Abu, who has a master's degree in fine arts from the University of Windsor, will be creating a comic for the first time.

Conundrum Press Publisher Andy Brown said in a media release that he was excited that Bujold-Abu applied for the program.

"She has a background in the fine arts world but hopes to expand into the comics field," he said. "We look forward to working with her in developing her first graphic novel."

The publisher is offering the bursary for the first time in 2021. It was established in solidarity with protesters fighting systemic racism.