The Uffo Struggle, a historical comic series, tells the story of doctors and teachers in Somaliland in the 1980s who created a self-help group to restore a hospital in Hargeisa. The comic series, produced by PositiveNegatives, was based on research by doctoral researcher Ebba Tellander. 

The Uffo Struggle for Justice Creating Historical Comics on Resistance in SomalilandBy Peace Research Institute Oslo

In this event, we are proud to launch the historical comic “Uffo”. It tells the true story of doctors and teachers in the 1980s in Somaliland who engaged in humanitarian activity and political critique when they created a self-help group to restore the hospital in Hargeisa. The five-part comic series was created based on research by doctoral researcher Ebba Tellander and produced by PositiveNegatives for the Societal Transformation in Conflict Contexts (TRANSFORM, project. In this seminar, Cindy Horst will engage Ebba, PositiveNegatives director Benjamin Dix, and Somali-British author Hanna Ali in a conversation on the creation of the comics.

Hanna Ali is an author, photographer, artistic director, frequent panelist, Teaching Fellow, and Ph.D. candidate at SOAS, University of London, where she specializes in Afro-Arab identity. Hanna works for Kayd Somali Arts and Culture as an Artistic Director. She is the Festival Director of Somali Week Festival, which is a 10-day London-based festival during London’s Black History Month.


Benjamin Dix is the founder and executive director of PositiveNegatives. Ben worked as a Communications Manager for the United Nations and various international NGOs across Asia and Africa for over 12 years and was a photojournalist before he started creating comics and animations.

Cindy Horst ( is Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and leads the TRANSFORM project. She currently researches how individuals can challenge the status quo and effect societal change in post-conflict settings and is especially interested in innovative research methodologies through shared anthropology.

Ebba Tellander ( is a Doctoral Researcher at Peace Research Institute Oslo and International Institute of Social Studies within the TRANSFORM project. She researches people’s motivations and strategies when initiating collective action in repressive settings, focusing on the case of Uffo. For her research, she also took part in the production of a 13-episode TV series about the Uffo.

Thumbnail Illustration by (C) Pat Masioni.