1st Edition

War Comics A Postcolonial Perspective

By Jeanne-Marie Viljoen Copyright 2021
    232 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book focuses on non-fictional, visual narratives (including comics; graphic narratives; animated documentaries and online, interactive documentaries) that attempt to represent violent experiences, primarily in the Levant. In doing so it explores, from a philosophical perspective, the problem of representing trauma when language seems inadequate to describe our experiences and how the visual narrative form may help us with this. The book uses the concept of the ineffable to expand the notion of representation beyond the confines of a western, individualist notion of trauma as event based. In so doing, it engages a postcolonial perspective of trauma, which treats violence as ongoing and connected to several incidents of violence across time and space. This book demonstrates how the formal qualities of visual, non-fiction may help close the gap between representation and experience through the process of ‘dark’ writing.

    Chapter 1: What is ‘Invisible’ Violence?

    Chapter 2: Depicting ‘Invisible’ Violence in Graphic Narrative Form

    Chapter 3: Exploring the ‘Invisible’ Violence of the Khan Younis Massacre in Footnotes in Gaza

    Chapter 4: Exploring the ‘Invisible’ Violence of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre in Waltz with Bashir: A Lebanon War Story

    Chapter 5: Applying the Five Frame Method for Exploring ‘Invisible’ Violence to more Aesthetic Forms


    Jeanne-Marie Viljoen is an academic in the field of Cultural & Literary Studies at the University of South Australia. Her abiding interest in exploring how communication about difficult experiences can occur through art in contexts where language cannot capture all we want to say, has lead her to focus primarily on non-fictional, visual narratives. Living and working in contested states with violent histories such as Apartheid South Africa, North Cyprus & Australia throughout her life drives her engagement with the postcolonial world.