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Negotiating 'Space' and 'Belonging': Reconstructing Transnational Discourse of the Refugees through Graphic Narrative in Over Under Sideways Down by Karrie Fransman

Bandyopadhyay, Modhura

In the post holocaust era- the discourse that has emerged around the terms ‘space’ and ‘boundary’ is porous and politically charged. The lived experience of belonging to a space and latching the identity of self with the ideological specificities and ethnic memories of that space, architects one’s idea of home at the microcosmic level and nation-state at the macrocosmic level. Transnationalism is in transgression with the non-negotiable boundaries of a nation state, categorization of space in terms of cultural attachments, economic structure, religious orientation and ethnic identity. It is indeed difficult to belong to a transnational space, as it does not provide anchors to connect genetic memory to ethnic memory of a space. Consequently, the idea of home is forever missing or postponed. This crisis finds representation in the lived experiences of international refugees who are forced to adopt the transnational identity once uprooted from the space which no longer remains their nation or home. This paper explores the discourse of nationality and its negotiation with the forced diasporic identity that constructs the ontological structure of the self, from the perspective of the refugees. The text in context is Over Under Sideways Down by Karrie Fransman. The author has chosen the genre of graphic novel, as illustration is an adept medium of communication that complies with the territorial principles of transnational space being a universal signifier.

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