UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Violencia y destrucción ecológica en tres recientes narrativas gráficas colombianas Swanson, Ross Kent


The recent Colombian comics and graphic novels Benkoz renace by Jean Paul Zapata, Los guerreros de Pachamama by Tairon Ernesto Cutiva Amaya, and Mohán: el mito by Inu Waters address themes of violence (especially forced displacement) and ecological destruction related to the Colombian armed conflict. These works are part of a recent surge in comic book production that Suárez and Uribe-Jongbloed have pointed out. With an ecocritical approach, the first chapter examines the relationship between physical and symbolic violence and ecological destruction in these works related to the Colombian armed conflict which continues after more than 52 years despite the recent peace treaty with the FARC guerrilla (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces). While paramilitary groups, guerillas, and economic interests are represented as victimizers of “nature” (or the non-human world) and minorities (campesinos, Afro-Colombians, and indigenous people), in Los guerreros de Pachamama, “nature” is personified and seeks revenge against these victimizing forces. The second chapter explores the use of mythical elements in the narratives with respect to history, emphasizing how they highlight the repetition of violence and ecological destruction in different historical periods while also recognizing their decolonial potential. Finally, with theoretical reference to Val Plumwood and Arturo Escobar, the last chapter explores “hybrid characters” that combine human and non-human aspects in these narratives that work to present the latter as subjects and agents. I argue that these characters break with the Western dualism between humanity and nature, encouraging new ways of understanding humanity’s relationship with the planet. I conclude that the works examined in this thesis portray the violence of the Colombian armed conflict in a way that recognizes its effects not only on human beings but also on the non-human world. Through mythical elements, it is viewed as a repetition and an intensification of the patterns of the past. Hybrid characters contribute to an understanding of humanity and nature not as separate and hierarchically organized categories but as interdependent worlds that are both endowed with agency.

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