Gef’s recognisable images of local politicians will be used to teach young people about Manx politics ahead of the General Election

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture are thrilled to have been given permission by Gef to use artist Laura Bowles’ ‘Gef Heads’ as part of a set of informative Manx General Election resources for students, produced by Advisory Teacher for the Manx Curriculum, Jo Callister. Jo has also been working with officers from Legislative Buildings and the Cabinet Office to provide bespoke Manx politics information for school age voters.

‘It’s really important that what we provide for the teachers and students is relevant and accessible,” said Jo. “These resources are just part of a wider campaign to initially inform younger students about how our unique parliamentary system works, and then also encourage as many 16-18 year olds to register and then to vote. Laura’s artwork is so recognisable and gives the resources that extra appeal, making them more interesting and inviting.’

Laura added: ‘I’m honoured to have my artwork used for such an exciting project particularly in light of the upcoming election. Politics, particularly on the Isle of Man, can be quite complex so making the subject more accessible is a great way to drive awareness and participation amongst the younger generation on the island.’

The resources will be available to teachers and students in Primary and Secondary schools and include an ABC of Manx Parliament, information about Tynwald, a Manx Politics word mat and an elections and voting information pack. All the resources are editable so teachers will be able to use them in a way that suits them and their students. These will complement the interactive video and survey which is available to 16 – 18 year olds through DESCs Itslearning platform. The ABC includes prominent current and former politicians and figures from Manx politics including Bishop Peter Eagles, Speaker Juan Watterson and former First Deemster William Cain.

Emma Cox, Head of Operations at Gef, said ‘We’re delighted that our commissioned graphics by Laura are being used to help educate our young people about local politics and help them engage in the democratic process. Here at Gef we’re passionate about making politics accessible to everyone, especially our younger readers. It’s a big year for the island with the upcoming election and we’re also working on resources online to help young people know the importance of using their vote.’ 

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