This is the first installment of a series of mini-exhibits on the production and use of graphic narratives and novels as a means to engage with the experiences of the colonized, the immigrant, the refugee, the marginalized, and social justice. Other installments focusing on South Asia and Spanish language graphic novels will appear over the course of the overall exhibit.
“Modern comics are frequently concerned with exploring the invisible and visible worlds that mark the lived experiences of minorities, and provide an alternate form of remembrance to supplement and intervene on discourses surrounding marginalised subjects.” (Golnar Nabizadeh, Representation and Memory in Graphic Novels, Routledge,2019, 7).
“The major conflicts of the 20th Century [can be explored] from new angles, including social, political, and economic mobilization, minority experience, impact on the homefront, etc.”
(Isabelle Delorme, Quand la Bande Dessinnée Fait Mémoire du XXe Siècle, Les Presses du Réel, 2019).
There has been a long history and tradition of bande dessinnée and graphic novels in France and Belgium since the 1930s. Early narratives regarding France’s colonial growth tended to focus on laudatory ambitions, such as the French “mission civilisatrice.” Many more recent works have looked to challenge these colonial narratives and shift the discourse to the colonial and post-colonial lived experiences and memories of the colonized and their relationship to France. The works chosen for this case are a relatively small sampling of such works, including those struggling with the continued reckoning with the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962).