Swarthmore College Department of

Peace & Conflict Studies Blog

Graphic novels, memory, and war in Lebanon

“Remembering a past that has hardly passed”

Carla Calargé

November 5th, 4:30-5:30pm

Keith Room (Lang Center)

While the war that ravaged Lebanon between 1975 and 1990 can be described as a microcosm of the conflicts plaguing the Middle East, persistent socio-historical factors have, until recently, suppressed its discussion and effectively silenced its memory. Recent emerging accounts have started to unearth this past, whether to understand it, heal its wounds, or extract lessons for the future.

This talk discusses two graphic novels by Lebanese women who grew up during the war: Je me souviens. Beyrouth published by Zeina AbiRached in 2009, and Lamia Ziadé’s Beyrouth 1975-1990 published in 2010. A close examination of these works will reveal the tension between the need to remember, and the limitations of remembering in a context largely defined by collective and state-sponsored amnesia.

Carla Calargé is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Florida Atlantic University. Her work focuses on the Francophone Arab novels and comics.