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project camouflage comics - announcement

Aarnoud Rommens | 24.05.2005 16:13 | Anti-militarism | Culture | Repression | World

I would like to invite you to look at my new production made at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht (The Netherlands) in cooperation with Rekall Design; comments and criticism are always welcome:

The website www.CamouflageComics.Com deals with issues of visual narration, censorship, human rights, comics and remembrance in the context of the Argentine military dictatorship of 1976-83.

Camouflage Comics: Dirty War Images aims at producing reflections - both in the form of verbal and visual material - on the interplay between art, dictatorship and human rights in general and the legacy of the Argentine "dirty war" (1976-83) in particular, with a focus on comics.

Now that the "Process of National Reorganization" is (seemingly) over, and democracy is reinstated, can we also say that there is no more censorship? Or are there only subtle shifts? The site Camouflage Comics: Dirty War Images explores both visually and verbally the ways in which the "Process" (or similar experiences) continues to leave imprints in the representational practices - i.e. in comics and illustrations - of the present and the past.

There are roughly two sections in Camouflage Comics. First, there are the comics and illustrations made by graphic artists and scenarists. These visuals have been made especially for this project and have not been published elsewhere (with the exception of the works by Sergio Langer and Guillermo Escalante). These new works are pictorial articulations of what it means to be living in Argentina today, a country still haunted by the specter of the Proceso. At the same time however - while the country seems to be recovering from the economic collapse of 2001, Argentina is gradually bringing the issues of reconstitution and responsibility back to the public sphere, a domain once marked by institutional amnesia and amnesty.

Secondly, Camouflage Comics contains essays concentrating on cartoons and comics published during the dictatorship, or during the time of transition from military rule to democracy. These analyses, although they are mainly concerned with the cultural production of a recent past, also shed light on the new comics. Indeed, the two parallel timelines cannot be clearly separated. On the contrary, they continuously intersect, urging us to interpret the 'new' in light of the 'old' - and vice versa.

In addition, this site contains a discussion-blog where these subjects can be explored in full, with a view of generating new visuals/essays and insights - not specifically related to the 'case' of Argentina, but covering a large array of topics, ranging from comics, censorship, (restrained) artistic practices, human rights, the institutionalization of memory, ...

Aarnoud Rommens
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