The methodological path and the development of a comic book from memory fragments

Keywords: Comics, Design, Methodology, Montage, Memory


The current study proposes to demonstrate the close relation between theory and practice, from developments of a research for a master’sdegree in Design area. This project is based on an investigation of memory fragments and gaps of Cerquilho — a Brazilian city located atthe countryside of the state of São Paulo

— during the 1940s and 1950s, through personal reports, photographs and official documents. These materials will provide elements for a theoretical and conceptual basis that, in the light of studies by Walter Benjamin, Jacques Rancière e Georges Didi-Huberman, will allow thedevelopment of a comic book with documentary aptitude, committed to the historical representation and the memory of those who did not share their experiences.

The dialogical relation between theory and practice is narrowed from the studies of Benjamin’s works and his way of looking at the past to extract elements hidden between the lines of history. In particular, the essays in “ The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire”, the book “Passages” — which reinforce a look at the memory of a time that no longer exists — and “The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov” — which deals with the storyteller importance and how the decrease in communicable experience contributes to their extinction. The way the German philosopher articulates fragments of the past, giving rise to a new approach to history, points to a methodological path in collecting information. It suggests a collected materials link by interviews with residents, periodic photographic records and official documents, as well as a guidance for the composition process and its way of joining, relating
and linking different information, giving them a narrative sense. Rancière and Didi-Huberman studies support and justify the narrative construction fictional and anachronistic character, without underestimating its documentary potential, in addition to sharing the idea that remembrance presumes a mental montage and that history is a sharing of memories defined as worthy of being recorded and possible to be fabled.

With the guidance of a methodological process, this study is focused on ways of thinking and visually interpreting the material collected during
the field research, that is, in design and comics, as well as of projecting the representation and a memory experience. At the same time, it emphasizes the language of comic books as a legitimate mean for the academic discourse and a stimulation for the thought, besides being an alternative to the traditional model of registration and investigation.