After visiting each others countries earlier this year, a group of three German and three Israeli artists have joined together to create a book about their experiences.
The end product is called ’Cargo’ and was produced in both an English and German version. It is one of dozens of projects instigated to make the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.
The plan was the brainchild of Jens Harder, one of the German artists, and the Goethe Institute in Tel Aviv. Harder is one of the most widely recognized comic-artists in Germany.
'Drawn by his comics'
Yirmi Pinkus, one of the Israeli artists, explained what happened when the two groups met. "We knew we were going to produce a type of journalism, but the question was where each of us would take it. Just as there are all sorts of journalists - reporters, analysts, publicists, columnists, etc. - each of us was drawn by his comics in a different direction."
Each artist focused on differing issues that confronted them on their visits. Jan Feindt, a German illustrator who made his debut on the comic-journalism scene, studied many aspects of contemporary Israeli society. Feindt was most interested in the situation of Bedouin women in the Negev, "I heard about these women’s situation, and the issue aroused my curiosity," Feindt recalled.
Below the surface of Berlin
Israeli Rutu Modan could only visit Germany for a week due to having young children. Modan, who had never visited Germany, visited many tourist sites in Berlin and tried to look beyond what she was witnessing and give each piece an historical perspective.
"I understood that this is a big city with a lot going on, but it took me a few days to understand how much is happening under the surface, how much history occurred there," Modan said.
Comic-journalism is a relatively modern phenomenon which was born in 1986 with the release of three American comic books which were aimed at adults and had deeper issues to explore.
This form of journalism isn’t meant to be objective and is said to be able to vent to many more feelings and emotions on a subject than a photo or script journalist.
Article published by arrangement with European Jewish Press , a pan-European news agency based in Belgium