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© CCCB, 2022. Autor: Miquel Taverna.

The application deadline has been extended to 23 September at 13.00


ALIA: Brain and Comics

Open call for secondary schools


Are you a secondary school teacher? Would you like to take part with your school in ALIA, the CCCB’s programme for young people that brings together scientific research and artistic creation? In September, we present this year’s call, proposing a series of challenges to investigate the workings of the brain and understand what human consciousness is. The result of our searches will take the form of a very special graphic novel.

Some 86,000,000,000 neurones (the Earth has 7,300,000,000 inhabitants!) and a total of 160,000 km of nerve fibres make up our brain and nervous system. The brain directs our body: it controls the rest of the organs, and coordinates our thoughts and actions. The brain is responsible for instinctive traits as well as speech, reflective ability and emotions. But the functioning of the billions of neurons and neurotransmitters that make up the brain remains a great unknown, and is perhaps one of the most fascinating challenges we face. What is the nature of knowledge? How do we explain the reality we experience? Where does consciousness of the self come from?

ALIA, a programme created jointly with the Centre for Brain and Cognition (UPF), with the support of Fundació Banc Sabadell, invites six schools to take part in a journey inside the brain, during which we will try to explain what human consciousness is and where it can be found. As well as visiting the exhibition Brains(s) that the CCCB opened at the end of July, the six selected class groups will get to find out at first-hand some of the research programmes of the Centre for Brain and Cognition and talk to its researchers. With the findings of this journey, each participating school will prepare a script that the students of Joso School. Comic and Visual Arts Centre will turn into a graphic novel that will be presented at the CCCB at the end of the academic year.

ALIA is an interdisciplinary project that invites joint work in different subjects. It is designed so that the school can carry it out independently, with the support of the CCCB. The programme requires a minimum of 40 hours of dedication. The CCCB provides a dossier of content with suggestions of activities and resources, guided visits to the exhibition Brain(s), and meetings with artists and scientists. 



  • 5-23 September 2022: open call for schools.
  • 30 September 2022: confirmation of the six chosen centres.
  • 24 October 2022: presentation to teachers of the educational materials.
  • 2 November 2022: talk with neuroscientist Jordi Camí.
  • 3-5 November 2022: teacher training days.
  • November-December 2022: independent work in the schools on the brain and visit to the exhibition Brain(s).
  • January-March 2023: independent work on the script of the comic about the brain, visit to the exhibition Graphic Constellation and meeting with a neuroscientist from the Centre for Brain and Cognition. The deadline for handing in the finished script is the end of March.
  • April-May 2023: students at Joso School. Comic and Visual Arts Centre turn the young people’s script into a cartoon.
    15 June 2023: presentation of the project at the CCCB. 

The challenges

Each of the selected schools will be assigned a challenge to work on that is related to one of the following themes:

  • Consciousness and perception
  • Consciousness and language
  • Consciousness and memory

The tools

Participants will devote an estimated average of 48 hours to the project, distributed as follows:

  • Independent work in the classroom on the assigned challenge, based on a guide with materials prepared by the scientist José Valenzuela Ruiz.
  • Visits to the CCCB’s exhibitions: Brain(s) and Graphic Constellation.
  • First-hand knowledge of a research programme of the Centre for Brain and Cognition, in the company of one of its lead investigators.
  • Writing of a script for a graphic novel about the brain to be handed in to the CCCB on 31 March, to enable the Joso School. Comic and Visual Arts Centre to illustrate it.

How to apply

The ALIA project is open to:

  • Fourth year ESO and first year Baccalaureate class groups in the Barcelona metropolitan region. The CCCB will only accompany one class group per centre.
  • A cross-cutting approach to the challenge from different subjects will be valued. The support of at least two teachers of two different subjects must therefore be presented.

Candidatures will be accepted until 16 September at 13:00. To apply, send an email to including:

  • Name of the school and contact email.
  • Full names, subjects taught and contact of the teachers involved. Proposed number of hours to be devoted to the ALIA project.
  • Class group taking part and number of pupils. A letter of motivation written by the students will be valued.
  • Text of no more than 2 pages explaining which challenge you’d like to work on and why.

Participants: Jose Valenzuela Ruiz

This activity is part of Brain(s), Graphic Constellation

Other activities as part of


More information on the exhibition

Chess marathon at the CCCB

Under-18 tournament and simultaneous matches with chess Grandmaster Sabrina Vega

Brain maps

The legacy of Ramón y Cajal

This is not a brain

Stem cell engineering to create human brain tissue organoids


With the support of