Being There is an original graphic novella written and illustrated by me over the winter of 2020 as my graduating Bachelor’s project from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
The hand drawn comic tells a personal story of my mother and myself, and looks into her upbringing in Uruguay during the dictatorship, from the perspective of a curious son trying to understand why things are the way they are. The story jumps between the childhood of my mother in the Montevideo of the 1970s, and present day Denmark, investigating the differences and likenesses in the respective ways of growing up. A strained family relation sets the precedent for the story which touches on the themes of national identity, how trauma gets passed down through generations and what being there means as a parent and as a child.
Apart from telling an engaging story, the goal of the project is to break down taboos about refugees, and allow a first-hand experience to see the light of day as a way to create a more nuanced view on immigration in Denmark.
marcus melo, 2020