Stuti Mamen - Exploring 'Ugliness' as Resistance in Indian Graphic Narratives
conference contributionposted on 29.06.2020 by Stuti Mamen
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My paper aims to explore the scope of post-millennial Indian graphic narratives in English as a site of resistance by delineating the interrelationship between visual style and commoditization. I will launch into my discussion with the premise that the voice of resistance takes recourse to a particular kind of visual language – one that abounds in irreverence and ‘ugliness’. The employment of a marginalized aesthetic and gritty visuals to narrate stories of marginalized communities diminishes the possibility of a passive reader and ensures the reader delves into the subject. One cannot help but marvel at the ability of comics to be a source of dissent in a setup where everything, including resistance, is on sale. The collaborative nature of a project like Grassroots Comics for instance, is an exercise in disseminating public discourse while dislodging cultural and institutional hierarchies. In the era of multinational capitalism marked by emptiness, it is rewarding to observe the extent to which graphic storytelling in India has been successful in diminishing the gap between the storyteller and the audience by encouraging participation and discussion.