American University of Beirut

Displacement In Comics 19

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In-Transit Exhibition "Displacement and Seeking Refuge as Seen Through Comics"

Exhibition Curator: Professor Lina Ghaibeh​

In response to global demographic shifts and unprecedented levels of human displacement, particularly in our conflict ridden region, the In-Transit exhibition looks to explore what it means to live in a constant transient state, and to seek refuge or to be forcibly displaced, as seen through the medium of comics and graphic narratives.

Through the selection of displayed artworks, the exhibition also aims to explore what this art-form offers as a medium of expression, reportage and documentation alternative to the traditional channels of the media, press or even photography. The visual and textual narrative quality of Comics, set in an emotive plot and graphic context, helps develop a more personal relationship with the content, that powerfully reveals the human cost of the tragedy, while still providing information and context.

The select panels of this exhibition showcase excerpts of Comics books or graphic narratives that explore what it means to be displaced, utilizing engaging biographic and fictional visual narratives and texts that walk us through the various reasons that force people to leave their homes and loved ones. These graphic narratives invite us to experience the circumstances of their plight, the perils and horrors of the journey of the displaced, and finally reaching and living in the host country with the difficulties faced and opportunities presented.

The exhibition features over 350 pages of selected comics pages from both complete graphic novels to short comics, created by over 40 artists from around the world; from Algeria,Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria as well as from Denmark, France, Germany,  South Korea, the US and the UK.

We believe that the contemporary graphic narratives coming out of the Arab world are addressing core issues for an adult audience, and exploring and pushing the boundaries of the medium, while offering us an alternative and equally important  view of the region. The scale of this work necessitates a dialogue facilitated through exhibiting and discussing this work, that we hope the audience will engage in.

// The In-Transit exhibition was first exhibited on March 11th 2019, in Beirut at the “Beit Beirut” Urban Museum and Cultural Center as part of the annual events organized by the “Arab Comics Initiative” at the American University of Beirut. It has since traveled within Lebanon twice and due to the outstanding reactions of the viewers, it will hopefully continue to travel around the world //


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