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Orbán, Katalin: "Mediating distant violence. Reports on non-photographic reporting in The Fixer and The Photographer." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 6.2 (2015), S. 122–137.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Orbn2015
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Keywords: "Le photographe", "The Fixer", Frankreich, Gewalt, Guibert. Emmanuel, Lefèvre. Didier, Lemercier. Fréderic, Photographie, Reportagecomics, Sacco. Joe, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
The recent consolidation of graphic reportage as a genre of graphic non-fiction has brought a distinct non-photographic regime of visual documentation with its own temporality and affective engagement. Graphic documentarism both complicates and relies on the gentrification of the comics as well as the changed ontology of the photograph and has its unique ways of mitigating the risks of distortion and exploitation in covering violent conflicts in distant locations. The two works examined in detail both focus on journalistic mediation of distant conflicts, reporting not only on the places and events of violence but also on their being reported. In Joe Sacco’s The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo (2004. London: Jonathan Cape), the structural vulnerability of the documentary account due to complex mediation is conveyed through an affective engagement based on intimacy and haptic visuality. This autonomous non-photographic regime of visual documentation is compared to Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefévre, and Frédéric Lemercier’s The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders (2009. New York: First Second), a hybrid reportage combining graphic non-fiction with photojournalism. The comparison suggests that the unique qualities of non-photographic documentation are difficult to maintain when the photographic discourse of factuality not only surrounds the work as a dominant set of expectations, but is integrated into the graphic narrative.
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