Our Team

Young Editorial & Artist Team

We had a team of over 45 young people (16-25 years) involved from South Africa, India and
UK. We contributed by sharing our ideas to inform the comic, interviewing experts, writing
articles and creating art.

Arushi Batra

Arushi Batra (India)

A graduate student at CSIR-IGIB, New Delhi, India. An interest in communicating science led me to Planet Divoc-91 and it has overall helped me brew some Positivi- TEA and build up a collective sense of community as youth amidst all the uncertainties. Having a safe space to research, ideate, share, interview, write and make films about the pandemic was the most fulfilling part for me! Also grateful for the wonderful friends that I have gained through this project! Otherwise dancing, chai and doodling keeps me sane!

Noah Carey

Noah Carey (UK)

I’m Noah, a 19 year old transgender male that loves photography.


Conor Giblin (UK)

I’m a 22-year-old writer from Manchester, currently working as an Events Programmer for Get It Loud in Libraries. During the Planet Divoc-91 project, I’ve had the opportunity to improve my interview technique by speaking to a number of medical professionals including Sir Patrick Vallance, Prof. Sir Robert Lechler and Dr. Lisa Pierre and have gained the skills to communicate scientific principles to a wider audience. In the future, I’d like to do more work as a freelance journalist and apply the skills I’ve learnt to a career in the music industry.

Alma Jbeili

Alma Jbeili (UK)

I have always been interested in medicine and research so being part of this project and learning more about research has been a very rewarding experience for me. The fact that the project gave us a platform to give our opinions on things that matter to us that could’ve been overlooked in the past, and be able to provide a different perspective for those undertaking the research has helped me a lot in terms of piquing my interest to undertake research in the future and motivates me to use such platforms to help get young adults voices heard.

Sonal Katyal

Sonal Katyal (India)

Hello! I am a science communicator by heart, education, and profession. I have worked for/volunteered at science centers, science shows, developed science workshops, organised events for science festivals (India & Scotland). I want to work on making science communication more accessible and inclusive.  I’m interested in learning new things in science, art and craft, theatre, dance, and the amalgamation of the mentioned for Public Engagement. Storytelling is close to my heart and comics form a special part of my childhood! Planet DIVOC-91 has been a platform for me to engage in immersive dialogues and grow as a better person.

Hood Kazibwe

Hood Kazibwe (UK)

As someone who is new to speaking up and bringing opinions to a big platform, being a part of this group has made it a lot more easier and given me experience to go on to do things I didn’t think I’d be able to do! I love media so it was definitely something I wanted to take part in and do the best I can because I knew I’d connect with new people. To meet new people and connect with so many other voices around the world is incredible and the journey has been absolutely amazing so far. The job Planet Divoc-91 has done so far is outstanding and I’ll be forever grateful with the platform I’ve been given!

Eman Khan

Eman Khan (India)

Eman (she/her) is a 23-year-old MBA graduate from Kolkata, India. She is a social activist at heart and strives to express herself through creative ventures. Eman is a strong believer in Freedom of Speech and Equity for all and that no one is too small to bring about change. She lives by “Carpe Diem” as her motto.

Fatema Kharbotli

Fatema Kharbotli (UK)

I am 17 years old. Originally Syrian but I live in Manchester. Since my passion lies in science, I wanted to join a research group, and I am very glad that that group happened to be Vocal. Currently, I am doing my A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Spanish. I initially got involved in the Planet Divoc-91 project because I was a part of Vocal before that. However, through this project, I discovered new passions like discussing important topics and developed lots of new skills e.g. being able to think of questions at the spot. It’s amazing!

Nathaniel Lawford

Nathaniel Lawford (UK)

I am a 24 year old Graduate, from Brighton university and have focused especially with my masters on the community and human centric philosophy of Ubuntu. Ubuntu stresses the importance of both community and being human through acting according to our rational senses. And the platform which Planet Divoc-91 project has offered has allowed me and many other young persons to form a sense of community in the face of isolation, and through the intellectual engagement of creativity share and explore our experiences. And I am so honoured to be a part of such a fundamentally fulfilling and uniquely fulfilling platform and project.

Whitney Love

Whitney Love (UK)

After graduating last summer from Durham University, I have spent time gaining experience in research and communications. I am currently tutoring Geography and working as a sustainability researcher for Bristol airport. My interest in the effects of the pandemic on mental health led to my involvement in the project. Having a space for young people to research, interview and write about the pandemic seemed most inspiring! My favourite part of the project was writing an article for the final issue of the magazine about vaccine communication and agency. I hope to write more pieces like this in the future!

Vishwadeep Mane

Vishwadeep Mane (India)

Vishwadeep(He/Him) is currently pursuing his PhD at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India. For his doctoral thesis he is working on the mechanics behind development of shapes in leaves. He identifies himself as queer by gender identity and has a significant interest in working on LGBT+ issues in STEM and other aspects of society. Apart from the scientific academics, he is passionate about research on gender parity in academia and has worked on it from a research point of view. He likes writing on philosophy and issues that are stigmatized in the LGBT+ community. Apart from that, he is passionate about conservation and environmental issues. In his spare time, he draws ‘Mandala art’.

Hester Nontobeko Mcanda

Hester Nontobeko Mcanda (South Africa)

My name is Hester Nontobeko Mcanda. I studied HR and I am busy studying project management. I am now part of Young & Curious too. Being Young, fun but very serious about matters that indulge in the growth of my community and the young people from my community is my passion. Challenges are a part of growth and I enjoy challenges and being challenged, as it keeps me on my feet.

Khangelani Mgoqi

Khangelani Mgoqi (South Africa)

My name is Khangelani Mgoqi. I am a young & curious creative from South Africa. Currently doing my final year in Visual Communication majoring in Multimedia design. My world revolves around the practices and ideas of design, creative arts, science, technology and religion. Quite evident that I believe that everything is connected and that me and you are part of a system that is ever evolving.

Mfuneko Miiyagi

Miyagi (South Africa)

My name is Mfuneko Mtshofeni known as Miyagi I enjoy mostly spending time singing and composing songs, I enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. I love cooking and spending time with Children is my passion. I’ve been writing short stories and been thinking out of the box. I love exploring, I’ve never been to a lot of countries but I’d love to travel to few of my favorite places to countries.

Sreshtha Mondal

Sreshtha Mondal (India)

Sreshtha Mondal is a PhD Scholar in Science Communication and Cognition in NIAS, IISc Campus, Bengaluru, India. With a prior background in life sciences, she also has a keen interest in science policy and actively engages women in STEM. Her passion for performing arts reflects through her training in Kathak- an Indian classical dance form. Her other hobbies include quizzing, exploring music and reading. At the amalgamation of such interests and talents, previously, she has been a fellow of the Microsoft-WWF India Create to Inspire fellowship, where performing arts were utilised to campaign for urban ecology in New Delhi, India.

Aviwe Gift Ndalana

Aviwe Gift Ndalana (South Africa)

Aviwe is a proactive, disciplined young man, excited to be at the development phase as a software developer. Aviwe is motivated and unafraid to be involved in different spaces that challenge’s his innovative thinking. Aviwe has built a business over the last 2 years which he believes now is ready after developing a game plan and strategy. He believes that he has a strategy to build the business but also to be a changemaker in the business industry. He is also a part of a group of “young people” called Young & Curious. They use arts-based, participatory methodologies to help young people tell their stories and define what matters to them.

Lucy Porte

Lucy Porte (UK)

Hi I’m Lucy, I contributed 2 articles + 1 illustration to the PD-91 project alongside feeding in general ideas to the story. I’m a science student but am also passionate about the arts, and have enjoyed the chance this project has given me to explore the two areas while working with some very cool people! The different young people’s groups that have fed into the project (including Voice Up, where I come from), as well as the project itself, are – I believe – excellent examples of youth involvement in arts, science and research. Let’s keep up the collaboration projects!  

Aishwarya Rohtagi

Aishwarya Rohtagi (India)

I am Aishwarya, a dentist and an aspiring public health professional from India. I am inclined towards social entrepreneurship to ring solutions for health challenges that we face collectively as a society and bring the dimension of equity to the forefront. I want to use my voice on various platforms to promote evidence based information and disseminate public health literacy. Apart from the professional endeavors, I am mostly interested in cooking, reading non fiction and pursuing my fitness goals. I believe I can be the true ambassador of ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ as I am a lifelong learner of everything that is new and intriguing!

Rashmi Sheoron

Rashmi Sheoron (India)

Rashmi Sheoran is a Physics Graduate from the University of Delhi (2020) and multimedia science communicator, mostly known for her project Astro Roxy for which she recently even won an international scicomm competition. She currently works at Spaceonova – India’s leading space education company based in Delhi NCR as their Chief Astronomical Officer and senior instructor. She is also a Guinness Record Holder. She spends her time doing astrophotography, producing content, binge-watching anime, playing online games and learning about mental health.

Phelisa Sikwata

Phelisa Sikwata (South Africa)

Phelisa Sikwata is a multifaceted artist from South Africa, committed in creating work that influences systematic change. Her core artistic medium is poetry writing, in which she too uses in her paintings. As part of Planet Divoc 91 webcomic series, Sikwata has served as a youth member in the steering committee, had her paintings and two articles on social observation featured on the comic. As Sikwata embarks on new artistic spaces, Planet Divoc91, Chapter 8: Remembering to Return is her comic writing debut.

Jenny Speakman

Jenny Speakman (UK)

I am 21 years old and I am from Warrington. I am currently a final year BA History student at the University of Leeds, going on to study a Masters degree in Social and Cultural History in September 2021. I got involved in this project to expand my writing experience and to talk to lots of interesting people. This project has been incredibly insightful and it has been a pleasure to see the hard work of so many talented young people. I hope that it educates and inspires many more people around the world.

Isha Tanwar

Isha Tanwar (India)

I am a 24-years-old life science enthusiast, currently contributing to Malaria eradication research program as a Research Assistant at Malaria Research Center, Sardar Patel Medical College, India. With the zeal for bridging the gap between Research and clinical practice, I am Pursuing research with a bit of spice and zest of humor but most of the time, stuck between perfectionism and procrastination. When not doing research, I can be found exploring different cultures, Dancing or seeking adventures in science. Planet Divoc-91 is an incredible example of one such adventures. Listening to all the influential people made me learn to go for nothing but Impact!!

Sevitha V

Sevitha V (India)

I am a 21-year old university student and a mental health enthusiast who believes mental health matters and that equity can change the world for the better. I usually see myself appreciating Van Gogh’s Art, reading Rega Jha’s book/ essay recommendations and watching sports religiously. *Cue F1 theme song ;). Super glad I met the amazing people that I did during this project and I am grateful for the values I learnt. Planet Divoc-91 project has been my pandemic savior and I will always be short of words to describe my experience with the project and the people here.


Production Team

Yukti Arora
Communications Officer, India Alliance

Paolo Arru
Social Media Lead, Vocal (Manchester NHS)

Charlotte Bailey
Sensitivity Consultant, Freelance

Antonio Benitez
Social Media Lead, Vocal (Manchester NHS)

Claire Bithell
Head of Communications, Academy of Medical Sciences

Naomi Clarke
Senior Communications Officer, Academy of Medical Sciences

Kat Cresswell
Project Manager, Vocal (Manchester NHS)

Kauthar Dramat
Film Editor, Freelance

James Devlin
Design/ Production, Freelance

VV Glass
Sensitivity Consultant, Freelance

Meghna Gupta
Exec Producer for India Films, Freelance

Georgia Harrison
Graphic Designer, Freelance

Nick Hillier
Director of Communications, Academy of Medical Sciences

David Hyde
PR, Superfan Promotions

Sarah Iqbal
India Project Lead, India Alliance/ Freelance

Banya Kar
PR and Communications Lead, India Alliance

Annie Keane
Public Programmes Manager, Vocal (Manchester NHS)

Sara Kenney
Project Co-Lead, Wowbagger Productions

Rudy Loewe
Sensitivity Consultant, Freelance

Joe Muggs
Article mentor/ Music Consultant, Freelance

Kirsten Murray
Editor/ Project Manager, Freelance

Hina Lateef Nizami
Communications Consultant, India Alliance

Adilah Petersen
South Africa Project Coordinator, Interfer

Nabeel Petersen
South Africa Producer, Interfer

Thy Quach
Trailer Editor, Freelance

Gaby Richter
Communications Officer, Academy of Medical Sciences

Holly Rogers
Acting Head of Communications, Academy of Medical Sciences

Kiki Shervington-White
Film Editor, Freelance

Anita Shervington
Lead – Power, Influence & Change, BlastFest Ltd

Bella Starling
Project Co-Lead, Vocal (Manchester NHS)

Laura Thomas
Evaluation, Ondata

Comic Creative Teams

Chapter 1: Transparency is for Windows

Art: Charlie Adlard
Words: Sara Kenney
Colours: James Devlin
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Elsa Charretier

Chapter 2: The Real Question

Art: Nick Brokenshire
Words: Charlotte Bailey
Colours: James Devlin
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Matt Kindt

Chapter 3: Eedyats in Every Galaxy

Art & Words: Hannah Berry
Colours: James Devlin
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: VV Glass

Chapter 4: It’s Just a Phase

Art & Words: Rachael Smith
Colours: James Devlin
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Leslie Hung

Chapter 5: Maturing

Art & Words: Karrie Fransman
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Marco Finnegan

Chapter 6: Same but Different

Art: Anand RK
Words: Nabeel Petersen
Colours: James Devlin
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: FØK

Chapter 7: Crisis of Existential Selves

Art: Zara Slattery
Words: Bobby Joseph
Colours: James Devlin
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: David Rubin

Chapter 8: Remembering to Return

Art: Rudy Loewe
Words: Phelisa Sikwata
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Warwick Johnson-Cadwell

Chapter 9: The Place Where We Stop the Story…

Art: James Devlin
Words: Sara Kenney
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Alitha Martinez


Mixes found here: https://www.mixcloud.com/PlanetDivoc91/



Juice Aleem

Joe Muggs


NV Funk

Toya Delazy


Arjun Vagale

Trailer Music: ‘Midi Sans Frontières’, Performed by Squarepusher, Courtesy of Warp Records

Workshops / Interviews / Masterclasses and Mentoring

Dr Saleyha Ahsan
Emergency Medicine Doctor & Broadcaster

Dr Giridhar R Babu
Epidemiologist, Public Health Foundation of India

Dr Anant Bhan
Medical Doctor and Global Health Researcher

Dr Sylvie Briand
Director of Global Infectious Hazards Preparedness Department, WHO Health Emergencies Programme

Rameez Cassiem
Radio Presenter and Motivational Speaker, Radio 786 (Cape Town)

Olly Colegrave
Strategist, VCCP

Duncan Copp
TV Exec/ Series Producer

James Cox
Head of Education, Policy and Advocacy, Save the Children

Professor Dawn Edge
Medical Sociologist, University of Manchester

Jeremy Deller

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons
Astrophysicist, Queens University, Belfast

Kieron Gillen
Comic book writer

Professor Ian Goodyer FMedSci
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Liesl Hermanus
Psychologist, Hanover Park Maternity Ward

Alok Jha
Journalist and Science Correspondent, The Economist

Professor Gagandeep Kang
Public Health Expert & Vaccinologist, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

Dr Tasha Koch
Biomedical Research and a Founding Managing Director of Eh!woza, University of Cape Town

Stefan Lacandler

Professor Sir Robert Lechler FMedSci
Former President of the Academy of Medical Sciences

Michelle Martin
Executive Producer, Audible

Professor Nathan Mayne
Astrophysics and Planetary Climates, University of Exeter

Dr Winston Morgan
Toxicologist, University of East London

Cheleka Mpande
Biomedical Scientist and Immunologist, SATVI – University of Cape Town

Dr Harriet Palfreyman
Medical Historian, University of Manchester

Dr John Parker
Psychiatrist at Western Cape Government and Lecturer at University of Cape Town

Dr Soumitra Pathare
Mental Health Expert, CMHLP – Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, Pune, India

Dr Lisa Pierre
Senior Clinical Pharmacologist and Development Team Leader, Johnson & Johnson’s Lung Cancer Initiative

Ms Subhra Priyadarsini
Science Journalist & Chief Editor, Nature India, Nature Springer Group, New Delhi, India

Professor Vijay Raghavan
Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Government of India

Dr Lindsey Reynolds
Anthropologist and Public Health Specialist, Stellenbosch University

Fiona Scott
Executive Producer, Off the Fence

Sharad Sharma
Founder, World Comics Network

Dr Zania Stamataki
Viral Immunologist, University of Birmingham

Dana Stevens
Head of Planning, VCCP

Dr Emma Sutton
Historian of Emotions, Queen Mary University

Dr Michele Tameris
Senior Clinician, Researcher and Vaccinologist, SATVI – University of Cape Town

Ms Amrita Tripathi
Freelance journalist, author & mental health advocate, The Health Collective

Professor Sir Patrick Vallance FMedSci
Chief Scientific Advisor, UK Government

Professor Arpana Verma
Head of Division of Population Health; Health Services Research and Primary Care; WHO Expert; Director of Manchester Urban Collaboration on Health

Kate Vines
TV Development Producer

Dr Martyn Winn
Computational Biology Group, Rutherton Appleton

Professor Maria Zambon FMedSci
Director of Virology, Public Health England

Steering Committee 

The steering committee consisted of young people (several committees hosted and run by the young adults), science experts and project producers (Wowbagger, Vocal, AMS, Interfer, India Alliance, BlastFest). The ambition for the steering committee was for the young people to find opportunities to build bridges and share their ideas with the science research and policy community. 

Daneille Barnetche
Product Manager, Wellcome Trust

Jennifer Cook
Research Manager, NIHR

Nan Davies
Education and Learning Lead, Wellcome Trust

Mark Ellis
Policy Advisor, Education and Skills, Wellcome Trust

Sarah Hess
Covid-19 Engagement & Partnerships, WHO

Divya Shah
Science Portfolio Manager, Wellcome Trust

Katherine Sheridan
Technical Officer, WHO

Doreen Tembo
Senior Research Manager, NIHR