Accepted paper:

Graphic relations: representations of family in 21st-century visual narratives


Ira Sarma (Leipzig University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper will look at discursive and visual representations of family relationships in contemporary Indian graphic narratives – a heterogeneous category of texts created by an experimental scene of young writers and artists who negotiate everyday experiences through innovative ways of narration.

Paper long abstract:

The history of the Indian graphic novel reaches back to the year 1994 when Orijit Sen's River of Stories was published, but it gathered momentum only twenty years later with Sarnath Banerjee's Corridor. Since 2004 around 30 new graphic novels have been published and a lively and innovative scene of graphic narrators has come to the fore in India. Especially interesting is the fact that, in the Indian context, authors and artists create not only the 'classical' graphic novel but also short narrative forms ('graphic short stories') and other visually designed narratives to be found in new contexts, like magazines, blogs or even installations in public space. In this paper I want to look into the representation of family relationships: What role does family play in this avant-garde genre? How does the pictorial element bear upon the notions of family transported by the genre? How is family depicted discursively and what does it 'look like' in 21st-century graphic narratives?

panel P23
Changing family realities in South Asia