A Breton Bande dessinée? Graphic Mosaics of Brittany

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This article uses the figure of the mosaic to explore the multiple ways in which Breton creators of bande dessinée have engaged with cutural, social and political questions from the 1940s to the twenty-first century. Graphic works published in the 1940s magazine O Lo Lê, created by Herri and Ronan Caouissin and later revived in the early 1970s, offered nostalgic images of a fantasized past, a form of cultural propaganda based on myths of Celtic ancestors, literary forefathers such as Auguste Brizeux, and the politics of provincialism. In the second half of the 1970s and early 1980s, amid calls for internal decolonization, the Breton BD scene became more varied, depicting emigration, unemployment and social unrest while giving voice to political dissent and deconstructing the clichés of picturesque localism. Finally, a selection of contemporary texts offers a space for re-examining Frenchness through the interplay between different languages and cultures, new models of relationality informed by postcolonial and ecocritical frameworks. As a hybrid, dynamic art form, BD emerges as a key contributor to the construction and deconstruction of community and group identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-271
JournalNottingham French Studies
Issue number2
Early online dateJun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

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