Rosa Colón Guerra
Challenging colonialist narratives through board games
Mikael Jakobsson, Research Coordinator in the MIT Game Lab and Lecturer in Comparative Media Studies, is collaborating with artist Rosa Colón Guerra to challenge colonialist ideologies through the development of counter-colonial board games. Building on work with Mary Flanagan, the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College; Aziria Rodríguez Arce (SM CMS/W ’18); and members of the MIT Game Lab and MIT CoLab, Jakobsson and Colón Guerra are creating a counter-colonialist board game centered on Puerto Rico.
With support from a CAST Fay Chandler Faculty Creativity Grant in 2018, Jakobsson and his team led a class in Bogotá at the University of the Andes and workshops at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, San Juan and at MIT in which professional game designers, students, and others from Colombia and Puerto Rico shared their ideas and experiences and created game concepts.
In spring 2020, Jakobsson and Colón Guerra led an MIT Independent Activities Period (IAP) course and a series of collaborative workshops with the ultimate goal of developing and producing a small print run of a new board game that challenges narratives of colonialism and foregrounds Puerto Rican voices and lived experiences.
Rosa Colón Guerra is passionate about storytelling through comics and illustration. She has been drawing and self-publishing her comics (along with writer Carla Rodríguez) as Soda Pop Comics for 10 years. Colón Guerra earned a BA in humanities–fine arts from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras and an MA in sequential art and design from the University of Brighton, England.
Soda Pop Comics has participated in numerous indie comic cons in the United States, including MoCCA Fest (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Fest), CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo), MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo), and TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival) in Canada.
Recently, Colón Guerra (as Soda Pop Comics) has collaborated with other artists in the indie art community in Puerto Rico as a curator and participant in art shows and an editor of a comics anthology.
Traveling to indie cons inspired Colón Guerra (with Carla Rodríguez) to create Tintero: Festival de Cómics y Arte Independiente, an indie art festival focusing exclusively on local illustrators and artists. They have produced four successful iterations of the festival, as well as conferences, pop-up stores, and art workshops.
Colón Guerra writes and illustrates comics focusing on Puerto Rico’s financial crisis and life during Hurricane María and its aftermath. She has been published in Lion Forge’s Puerto Rico Strong Anthology, the 2019 Will Eisner Comic Book Award’s Best Anthology, as well as The Nib and Splinter News.
More at the artist’s website: Rosa Colón Guerra
IAP: Playing Counter-Colonialism in the Americas
January 21-22, 2020 / 2:00-6:00pm
January 21-24, 2020
Hollywood Reporter: Puerto Rico Strong wins Best Anthology, 2019 Eisner Award Winners
Amazon Book Review: 31st annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards
Mikael Jakobsson, Research Coordinator in the MIT Game Lab and Lecturer in Comparative Media Studies