MacLeod, Catriona: "(Post)-colonial persistence. The presence of the “Black Venus” in the work of Warnauts and Raives." In: Contemporary French Civilization 36.3 (2011), S. 287–302.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: MacLeod2011
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Keywords: "Equatoriales", "Lettres D’Outremer", Belgium, Gender, Postcolonialism, Raives. Guy, Warnauts. Eric
Collection: Contemporary French Civilization
Although largely absent from pre-1939 comic strips depicting imperial conquest, the woman of non-European origin has finally found, to an albeit limited extent, a place in the bande dessinée following the emergence of Francophone post-colonial BDs in the late 1970s. However, this delayed arrival within the frames of the “ninth art” has not rendered the post-colonial woman entirely immune to the established pictorial tropes first used to depict the female colonized subject in the publications of the French and Belgian imperialist era, with a level of pictorial similarity to the colonial sexualized “Black Venus” figure to be found in some female characters of the late-twentieth-century post-colonial BD. This article takes as case studies two such works by the Belgian creative team Warnauts and Raives – Equatoriales (1994) and Lettres D’Outremer (1996) – in order to examine the representation of women of colonial origin within the texts. Focusing predominantly on the creators’ manipulation of color and mise-en-page, the devices used within the texts to “other” the (post)-colonial women, heightening their exoticized and sexualized representation, will be considered with a view to enunciating the links between this eroticized representation of the modern black woman and the colonial “Black Venus” stereotype.
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