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‘Blueprints for a Forward-Dawning Futurity’: Brynjar Åbel Banlien’s Strîmb Life (2009) and Strîmb Living – 5 Years with Oskar (2011) by Mihaela Precup

‘“I really do believe

future generations can

live without the in-

tervals of anxious

fear we know between our

bouts and strolls of

ecstasy.”’

James Schuyler

(qtd. in José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia)

The first two books of comics published by Norwegian dancer, choreographer, and comic book artist Brynjar Åbel Bandlien are also the first two and only comics published in Romania that address queer topics.[1] The author embarked on the doubly daunting task of using a medium that was new for him (i.e. comics) and representing a way of living (that he calls strîmb)[2] whose visual presence in Romania is quite scarce. Bandlien’s two fictional autobiographies, Strîmb Life (2009) and Strîmb Living – 5 Years with Oskar (2011), are related attempts to provide a view of what it means to be living a strîmb life, although more often than not they are simply about living a happy life. These two books are welcome interventions in a space of almost complete silence and everyday invisibility, but they are (thankfully) neither didactic to-do lists meant to guide us through the hours and days of a queer life, nor are they exhaustive exercises in defining queerness.

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Posted by on 2013/05/30 in Gender, Guest Writers

 

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