Event Title

Re-inking Brazil: Race in Brazilian Graphic Novels

Location

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Start Date

8-11-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

8-11-2017 10:00 AM

Description

Existing scholarship has shown that one of the main gaps addressed in the study of comics in Latin America is the scarcity of primary and critical works that problematize race and ethnicity in a significative manner. In the Brazilian graphic narrative tradition, the Afro-diasporic subject has generally been portrayed as existing on the margins of society, displaced by white characters. This marginalization occurs even when the stories were focused on Afro-diasporic themes. In the last 20 years, even Monica’s Gang, one of the most popular Brazilian comics known to promote human rights stories for children, has failed to portray or to problematize race in its stories. Nonetheless, this scenario has shown significant changes over the last ten years, in part as a response to the enactment of legal measures that have changed, at least to a degree, both the status of Afro-Brazilian culture in Brazilian society, and, consequently, the portrayal of Afro-Brazilian characters in Brazilian comics. In my research, I argue that the graphic narratives produced in this new social and cultural scenario, attempt to fill the gap mentioned above by creating works that centralize and valorize Afro-diasporic subjects and their culture. This is to say, through language and imagery these works “[re]incorporate previously marginalized people as democratic citizen-subjects” (Smith 2012). As such, graphic narratives centered on Afro-diasporic subjects are partaking in the process of symbolic citizenship construction in contemporary Brazil.

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Nov 8th, 9:00 AM Nov 8th, 10:00 AM

Re-inking Brazil: Race in Brazilian Graphic Novels

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Existing scholarship has shown that one of the main gaps addressed in the study of comics in Latin America is the scarcity of primary and critical works that problematize race and ethnicity in a significative manner. In the Brazilian graphic narrative tradition, the Afro-diasporic subject has generally been portrayed as existing on the margins of society, displaced by white characters. This marginalization occurs even when the stories were focused on Afro-diasporic themes. In the last 20 years, even Monica’s Gang, one of the most popular Brazilian comics known to promote human rights stories for children, has failed to portray or to problematize race in its stories. Nonetheless, this scenario has shown significant changes over the last ten years, in part as a response to the enactment of legal measures that have changed, at least to a degree, both the status of Afro-Brazilian culture in Brazilian society, and, consequently, the portrayal of Afro-Brazilian characters in Brazilian comics. In my research, I argue that the graphic narratives produced in this new social and cultural scenario, attempt to fill the gap mentioned above by creating works that centralize and valorize Afro-diasporic subjects and their culture. This is to say, through language and imagery these works “[re]incorporate previously marginalized people as democratic citizen-subjects” (Smith 2012). As such, graphic narratives centered on Afro-diasporic subjects are partaking in the process of symbolic citizenship construction in contemporary Brazil.