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Graphic Katrina: Disaster Capitalism, Tourism Gentrification and the Affect Economy in Josh Neufelds's A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge (2009)

Davies, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-3584-5789 (2019). Graphic Katrina: Disaster Capitalism, Tourism Gentrification and the Affect Economy in Josh Neufelds's A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge (2009). Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, doi: 10.1080/21504857.2019.1575256

Abstract

This article explores the ways in which Josh Neufeld’s documentary comic, A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, which was published first online from 2007 to 2008 and then collected in book form in 2009, offers a radical visual commentary on the processes of disaster capitalism and tourism gentrification that have reshaped New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Whilst A.D.’s biblical imagery evokes the proto-corporate language of the ‘blank canvas’ in order to critique regimes of disaster capitalism, its vertical multi-scalar perspectives meanwhile resist the racism of media coverage of the event. Through colouring and other aesthetic choices, the comic also challenges the subsequent propagation of an ‘authentic image’ of New Orleans that promotes tourism gentrification. Where previous critics have emphasised the emotional appeal A.D.’s makes on its readers, I instead discuss the comic’s identification of the structural conditions that have violently impacted the city’s most marginalised inhabitants. Nevertheless, the article qualifies these contentions by acknowledging that A.D. also contributes to an ‘affect economy’ that has exacerbated the privatisation of previously public infrastructure and social services, often to the detriment of pre-Katrina residents simply trying to return to their city.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/21504857.2019.1575256
Publisher Keywords: New Orleans, disaster capitalism, comics journalism, tourism gentrification, Josh Neufeld
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > English
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/21357
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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