Recovering the Palestinian History of Dispossession through Graphics in Leila Abdelrazaq’s Baddawi

Arya Priyadarshini, Suman Sigroha


Documentation is a significant mechanism to prove one’s identity. Palestinians, being robbed of this privilege to document their history, have taken upon other creative means to prove their existence. The paper contends that Baddawi (2015) by Leila Abdelrazaq is one such means, which documents the history of her father, and simultaneously commemorates the history of millions of displaced and dispossessed Palestinians through the graphic medium to reclaim the memory of their displacement and the trauma associated with it. Being instruments of resistance, graphics and comics have a historical prominence in the Palestinian community. Building on this rich history of resistance through art, the paper contends that the modern graphic novel which is in itself a product of resistance to the mainstream comics is used as a tool by the author to reclaim the Palestinian identity by drawing their rootedness in the region, thus resisting the dominant narrative and their erasure from history. The paper, therefore, by depicting a personal story of loss and suffering through iconic language in place of the verbal, establishes that Palestinians take control of their narrative through the means of graphics, providing their history a location when the world denies them any.


Graphic Novel; Trauma; Resistance; Memory; Baddawi


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