Got 5 minutes? Edson Oda’s motion comic deserves your time.
São Paulo writer and film director Edson Oda originally wanted to submit “Malaria” to the Django Unchained Emerging Artist Contest but was unable to do so because of time constraints. So he submitted another piece he made called The Writer and, you guessed it, he won.
But his short motion comic Malaria continues to be talked about in both the art and global health communities. The work blends Origami, Kirigami, time-lapse photography, nakin illustration, comic book illustration, Western-inspired cinema, layered metaphors, fire and even the artist’s own hands to create an absolute masterpiece that will continue to push the boundaries of art for years to come. Animations do not move like this and motion comics do not move like this. With João Pinheiro’s illustrations and voice acting by Antonio Moreno and Rodrigo Araujo, Oda’s “Malaria” blends old and new disciplines so seamlessly that in many ways he has created something entirely new.
And we haven’t yet touched upon the implications for global health. Even those who work in the malaria community have expressed excitement about this. By most accounts, the malaria parasite has been responsible for half of all human deaths since the Stone Age. Still, it hasn’t achieved the kind of rockstar status as HIV/AIDS or cancer and this means funding is often tough to come by. So Oda’s work, a piece of art that uses the mosquito-borne infectious disease as character and commentary, has sparked conversations among researchers and public health specialists about their role in being paid to eradicate malaria and even in what would happen in the unlikely event of a miracle breakthrough that swiftly brought an end to malaria.
“Malaria” tells the tale of Fabiano, a bounty hunter whose job it is to kill the character named Death. But Death’s rational logic makes him question his mission. Here it is. Enjoy: