Contemporary Graphic Narratives of the End: Sketching an Ecopolitics of Disorientation and Solidarity through Sf Bande Dessinée
This article focuses on visions of the end in contemporary science fiction bande dessinée to explore the combined potentialities of the sf genre and the comics medium for imaginaries of world-rebuilding in the Anthropocene, and to develop an ecopolitics of disorientation and solidarity for a collapsing world. Bringing an ecocritical approach to queer and feminist theorizations of the politics of disorientation, it first discusses texts that draw (counter-)narratives of Anthropocenic futures, in which other-than-human agencies, spatialities and temporalities take centre stage in unsettling ways and collapse Western master narratives of the environment. In Jérémy Perrodeau’s Crépuscule, the non-linear storylines of an artificially created and now contaminated planet collide and assemble to disrupt the myth of a ‘virgin land’, rendering the erasure and slow re-inscription of genocidal and ecocidal violence. In Enki Bilal’s trilogy Coup de sang, it is the illusory hyper-separation of humans from nature that is dismantled through post-apocalyptic elemental graphics. The article then explores ways in which disorientation becomes fully productive as part of an ecopolitics when it is entwined with solidarity, a term that here extends beyond the human and is understood as a praxis of both care and resistance, drawing on ecofeminism and environmental philosophy. This is explored through Ludovic Debeurme’s trilogy Epiphania, which critiques and dissolves the human-animal boundary into enmeshed relationalities in sf visions toward multispecies communities and bodily and ethical mutations; and Jeanne Burgart Goutal and Aurore Chapon’s ReSisters, a choral narrative that makes use of comics’ potential for diffractive and participatory readings to draw the outlines of an ecofeminist uprising.
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