02 February, 2010

Forgotten Crimes

Here is an interesting interview with cartoonist Joe Sacco. Sacco made his name with the comic Palestine, and has since published a number of books, including several fascinating works on the wars in the former Yugoslavia. His new book, Footnotes in Gaza sees him researching a largely forgotten incident in 1956, when a three-figure number* of Palestinians were massacred in Rafah and Khan Younis by Israeli troops. I have not read the book, so I cannot really comment on it, but it seems to do the usual Sacco thing of being partly about him researching the 1956 events, partly showing those events. I sometimes find that style of writing - foregrounding the writer over the events they are writing about – a bit annoying. With Sacco it works better, as he has a good eye for detail, and the minutiae of his gathering information (travelling around the Gaza Strip, talking to survivors and eye witnesses etc.) is often fascinating.

*111? 275? It depends who you talk to; I do not consider either of these numbers acceptably low

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