Wednesday, 4 July 2018, 5.00 pm - 6.30 pm |
Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin
Visuality and Displacement in Arab Graphic Novels and Comics
(EUME Fellow 2017/18)
Chair: Lamia Moghnieh
(EUME Fellow 2017/18)
Arab comics and graphic novels addressed to adults have significantly been on the rise since 2011, though building on a longer history of practice. The new genres have been the subject of growing local and international interest, particularly also as forms of cultural resistance. This presentation seeks to examine the emergence and establishment of a vibrant Arab comic scene through fanzines, workshops and festivals throughout the region and beyond. The new forms of comics, often written in local dialects, engage in direct dialogue with the street and propose an alternative and more daring reading of pressing social realities today, tackling themes, character types, social situations, time and space, and indexing the manifestations of social upheavals that have been sweeping the Arab regions. Rasha Chatta explores the ways in which these new artistic practices exhibit various forms of democratization of voice and of direct accessibility to personal experiences, discerning memories, and representability, and she argues that the works focusing on war, memory, and displacement problematize and complicate more ‘official’ and widely circulated narratives.
Rasha Chatta earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from SOAS, University of London (2016), with a dissertation entitled “Marginality and Individuation: A Theoretical Approach to Abla Farhoud and Arab Migrant Literature”. She holds an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS and a BA in History of the Middle East and North Africa from Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris I) and “Classes préparatoires” in Humanities. At SOAS, Rasha has taught courses on Arab women’s literature, Arab cinema, and the Arabic language. In 2009, she was Community Outreach Director at the Cairo-based Resettlement Legal Aid Project. Rasha’s research interests include visual aesthetics and memory, approaches to world literature, migrant and diasporic literatures, and war literature with a focus on Lebanon and Syria. Among her publications is the chapter “Mutations of the Trans-Migrare: Reflections on Individuation and Un-Homing on the Other Side of Belonging”, in: Kläger, F. and Stierstorfer, K. (eds.), Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015), 53–69. During the academic year 2017/18, Chatta is a EUME Fellow.