Alessia Mangiavillano - Leaving the Mediterranean behind: migration, vulnerable voices, and comics
presentationposted on 29.06.2020, 21:44 by Alessia Mangiavillano
Understanding migration in the Mediterranean region begins by improving our knowledge of it. I focus on two Italian examples of comics journalism, Salvezza (Salvation) and …A Casa Nostra. Cronaca da Riace (…In our own country. Chronicles from Riace), to argue that both works play a crucial role in conveying migrant voices often neglected in the mainstream media. I will be engaging with the work on authenticity in comics journalism and the scholarship of documentary comics to illustrate how the stories conveyed in both comics allow to access and share real-life experiences of people who fled Africa and crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. Drawing on the theoretical approaches discussed by Weber and Rall, Chute, Mickwitz, Singer and others, I consider how the medium of comics can ‘map’ voices to otherwise invisible groups of people obscured in the media. I further explore how the authors leverage comics as a mode of social investigation, put perspectives of migrants who fled human rights abuses at the heart of the narrative, and suggest reflecting on the politics of the crossing of borders in the Mediterranean region through the dialogues of their characters. These stories offer a space to appreciate the complexity of migration and challenge the dominant narratives on migration which seems to be a feature of contemporary political and media discourse. This presentation further explores audience and responses from the readership.