Safe Area Gorazde Analysis

Essay by daniel_510College, UndergraduateB-, October 2008

download word file, 7 pages 3.0

"Safe Area Gorazde" Critical PaperJoe Sacco's graphic novel, Safe Area Gorazde, effectively portrays the horrors and realities of the war that broke out in Eastern Bosnia from 1992 to 1995. The book describes the author's experiences during four months spent in Bosnia between 1994 and 1995, and is based on conversations with Bosniaks trapped within the enclave of Gorazde. Considered a graphic journalist, the author depicts the real nature of this atrocious war by alternating between his narrations, the interviews he made during his visit and vivid panels of images that clearly portray the realities of this war. The journalistic comic book is written in a readable and organized manner. The imagery in the graphic novel genre delivers a great deal of insight into daily existence during a horrible era in modern European history. The book is an in-depth account of a war from within its battlefields and exquisitely drawn graphic report.

War photographs depict the physical destruction, magazines and TV news editorialize; novels make war poignant, and Sacco has surpassed all other available venues in capturing war with its historical, political and social, background through a combination of images and narrations. Through a mélange of loud images, interesting interviews, and an effective narration, Joe Sacco is able to transfer to his audience more than a story or a message, but a set of unsettling emotions and feelings channeled through a heavy use of irony, in depth symbolism in images, and a clear insight on the lives of the victims.

The story takes place in Gorazde, a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where political tension is rising and a war is clearly escalating. Fearing the worst, Slovenia and Croatia declare independence from Yugoslavia, while Bosnian Serbs are quickly trying to organize their armed forces. All this...