Seeking refuge: Ali Fitzgerald’s graphic novel, ‘Drawn to Berlin,’ draws an urgent parallel between asylum seekers of today and of the 1920s

By Ali Fitzgerald, (c) Ali Fitzgerald

 

 

Ali Fitzgerald’s debut graphic novel was inspired by her experiences teaching comic workshops in an emergency refugee shelter and the connections she forged there. Fitzgerald, known for her series “Hungover Bear and Friends” on “McSweeney’s,” explores the history of refugees in the city, drawing a striking parallel between the “refugee crisis” of the 1920s and the situation today.

Drawn to Berlin: Comic Workshops in Refugee Shelters and Other Stories from a New Europe,” out in October, embraces the character of Berlin itself to explore these themes. “Comics as a tool for self-expression can be a really powerful thing,” says Fitzgerald. “Especially for people I think who might not have access to as many sort of verbal tools.”

 

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