I’ve been playing around a lot with digital copies home movies taken primarily by my great grandfather before and after World War II, mostly in Germany and Belgium. I have been really taken especially by the juxtaposition in post-war vacation footage, between footage of my Oma and her children (my grandfather and great aunt) hiking, kayaking, sightseeing etc., and scans of the bombed ruins of European cities, beginning to be rebuilt. Most jarring for me was the footage of sex workers posing for my great-grandfather’s video camera, amidst the rubble. I’ve been playing with that footage and this is what I came up with today:
In the midst of the most hectic part of the semester, I’m trying to keep up with painting and drawing regularly! I’ve been posting a lot of small notebook doodles on instagram and twitter (both are @jennabrager) and doing some other sketches, like these:
Sves (tea/india ink)
Ilse (tea, watercolor)
Hopefully I’ll get back to working on some larger projects soon!
Fun with teaching lesson 4: Make sure students have a strong historical base for contemporary issues.
Fun with teaching lesson 5: Use real world examples.
Fun with teaching lesson 6: Covering your tablet with your hands does not prevent texts from your boyfriend from being visible on the projector.
Isn’t teaching fun!
Developing ideas, characters and images for a graphic project, I’ve started doing some sketches that are partly from old photographs, partly from my imagination. I’m excited to spend more time with character’s clothing, since I usually just draw t-shirts and button downs and the occasional vest. In this piece, I kind of decided not to use color after I had already started, but I think it looks alright anyway, like overpainting (though if it were overpainted the cheeks and lips and probably hair would also have been done–next time!).
Back to writing final papers for a while,
I have a new zine out, called “The Sinew that Shrinks.” You can buy it from Quimby’s (it’s listed under Sassyfrass Circus #8) or send me an email (sassyfrasscircus at gmail dot com) if you want one! It’s a mix of writing, collage and comics, 30 pages. Also Quimby’s is restocked in a bunch of my older zines, though they’re all listed under different author names so you have to search by title.
Edie Fake writes: “Brager circumnavigates the physical remnants of loss, specifically the electric energies of the departed. The pieces that make up this zine constitute an experimental essay on ghosting, memory, were-wolvery, vibration and the psychic and emotional impact of families, given and chosen.”
I recently started drawing a piece about physical memory that I ended up not finishing–I’ll probably return to it in another guise at some point–and decided to ink the first two panels to play with some different styles.
Like many people invested in old things (thinking of course of garçonnière), I love the history of objects, the way they carry memory and affect across time and space. One of my most treasured possessions is this gold bangle that I inherited from my Oma–one of a set of seven, for the seven days of the week that my Opa loved her. During WWII, they were imprisoned in an internment camp in France which was bombed. My grandfather, a toddler at the time, was playing with the bracelets in the dirt when the bombs started to fall, and in the haste of their escape, my Oma always said, she lost her “Sunday”. This was a story we grew up with–part of my family mythology. When I was given the bracelet, and slid it over my hand, I couldn’t imagine how they even got them off my Oma’s wrist. I always imagined them as a part of her body. So that’s what I had started drawing about.
Solidarity in struggle on this International Workers Day, to everyone on strike and everyone stuck at work, and to comrades fighting for their lives, like Cece McDonald.