Second Workshop in Leipzig

Alice Socal Lina Itagaki

After an extended period of research and reflection, our team congregated again for the second workshop of “Redrawing Stories from the Past II: Escape and Migration in Europe” (July 1st to 6th, 2018). This time round, we travelled to Leipzig where we were hosted at ZusammenLeben e G in the beautiful district of Leipzig-Connewitz.

As all participating artists had already come up with possible story ideas, we went straight to work, discussing sources, angles and storyboards. Lina Itagaki will be telling the story of a Jewish family from Poland who fled to Kaunas, Lithuania, where they were issued visas for Japan by the Japanese vice consul who is now famous for helping Polish Jews escape Nazi persecution. Emilie Josso will be following various roads of displacement that criss-crossed Italy in the aftermath of WW2, joining the fates of Jewish, Ukrainian and Baltic refugees. Julia Kluge’s comic will depict the life of Philipp Schwartz, a Jewish professor at Frankfurt University, who helped fellow academics struggling to leave Nazi Germany by finding them positions at Turkish universities. Alice Socal will be focussing on southern Italy where Heinz Skall, born into a Jewish family in Prague, survived Nazi persecution and terror in a detention camp in Campagna.

Most workshop days were spent elaborating these plots and finalising storyboards. Sascha Hommer and Ole Frahm held consultation sessions with each of the artists, assisting them in finding additional sources and fine-tuning their storytelling approach.

Throughout the workshop, we had a number of visitors who were involved in the project on various levels: Johanna Wand of Goethe Institute Naples spent two days with us, reporting on our project for the Goethe Institutes in Italy. David Schilter of Latvian comics publisher kuš! joined us on Tuesday. As he will again be in charge of the final publication, we spent a lot of time discussing deadlines, measurements and layouts with him. Lilian Pithan, who takes care of our project PR, came for a visit on Thursday and helped videographer Johannes Buchholz record a short round of interviews with the artists.

On Thursday, we visited the Leipzig Nazi Forced Labour Memorial where we attended a guided tour of the permanent exhibition. This gave us a valuable insight into the workings and hierarchy of the forced labour system as well as its different stages during National Socialism in Leipzig.

So what’s up next? At the moment, all artists are working hard on creating their comics as the publication “Redrawing Stories from the Past 2” is scheduled for release in March 2019. It will be accompanied by an exhibition (March 16th to April 6th, 2019) at Berlin gallery neurotitan. We’ll keep you updated!

First Workshop in Naples

Team Naples

The first workshop of “Redrawing the Past II: Escape and Migration in Europe” took place in Naples from April 5th to 10th, 2018. The five participating artists Lea Heinrich, Julia Kluge, Lina Itagaki, Emilie Josso, and Alice Socal spent one week at the beautiful workshop space Riot studio, which was provided by our partners, the Goethe Institute Rome and Naples.

Workshop space

Besides giving lectures on storytelling and visualisation techniques, Sascha Hommer, comic artist, and Ole Frahm, historian, presented different approaches in dealing with topics such as escape and migration in comics. The historian Michael Hein gave a comprehensive overview of movements of flight and migration during the National-Socialist period. He then reflected on selected stories involving citizens of various European countries. At this point, the artists came up with story ideas of their own, which were then discussed in the group.

Team Naples

To discover the history of the region, the whole group took a trip to a former internment camp in Campagna (province of Salerno), just 1.5 hours away from Naples. We visited the museum and were introduced to the history of the camp, located in a former monastery in a small mountain village.

Team Naples

On the last day, Sascha Hommer and Ole Frahm held single consultations with the artists, focusing on story ideas and research techniques. We also discussed the future stages of our project, including the exhibition and publication with the Latvian publisher kuš!, scheduled for spring 2019.

Team Naples

Apart from working on their projects, the workshop participants had plenty of time to discover the city, visit comic exhibitions and meet local illustrators and artists. On the last evening, the Goethe Institute organised a public event, which gave us the opportunity to present our project to the public.

Our second workshop will be held in Leipzig in the first week of July.

Second workshop in Chemnitz

Illustration Zosia Dzierżawska

After a long period of research (and online communication) our Redrawing-team finally met the second time. The five day workshop took place at the alternative youth center Chemnitz (AJZ Chemnitz). David Schilter from our Latvian partner organization kuš! also joined the meeting. On Sunday we arrived at the AJZ Chemnitz, where we were welcomed warmly. After dinner the artists presented their storyboards to show their work status. Afterwards Ole Frahm and Sascha Hommer got into personal conversations with them. It was great to recognize the development of the stories. A lot of questions and problems we discussed in Pančevo in early April were solved, but some new problems evolved.

Beside the personal dialogues, our artists had the chance to keep on working and discussing. For this the garden of the AJZ was the perfect place. Here we also got provided with daily tasty meals prepared by the members of the AJZ.


On Monday, 29th of June, Ole Frahm held a public lecture at the AJZ Chemnitz about „Anti-Semitic caricatures in comics“, which was followed by a very interesting public discussion with the audience. On Wednesday we went on a bike tour through the city to learn more about the National Socialist history of Chemnitz. The tour was guided by Enrico, a member of the NGO VVN-BdA. Enrico took us through the city and showed us places of National Socialist terror and persecution. We learned that Chemnitz was a socialistic and democratic centre in central Germany and tried to fight against the coming into power of the National Socialists.

On our last workshop day we invited pupils from the André Gymnasium in Chemnitz. We presented our project to them and engaged them to draw their own comics about victims of National-Socialism. In their case about the victims, who died at the killing center Pirna-Sonnenstein, a place where thousands of disabled people were killed between 1940 and 1942.

After an intensive workshop week, we are looking forward to the final comics of our five artists, the forthcoming kuš!-publication and the exhibitions in Berlin (6th of November 2015) and Chemnitz (January 2016).

Visit of the Pirna-Sonnenstein Memorial


Together with youth of the AJZ-Chemnitz we visited the former sanatorium Pirna-Sonnenstein, an institution that had been renowned for its humanist tradition, before the National Socialists turned the sanatorium into a killing center.

15 000 people were murdered at Pirna-Sonnenstein in the years 1941 and 1942, most of them because they were diagnosed with (an alleged) mental handicap or illness. They were killed in gas chambers within the framework of the National Socialist medical murders, the so called ‘Action T4’. Over a thousand prisoners from National Socialist concentration camps also died at this site in the summer of 1941 (‘special treatment 14f13’).

The killing center Pirna-Sonnenstein served as a personnel, organizational and technical field of experimentation for the future extermination camps like Auschwitz, Treblinka and Sobibor. In the upcoming workshop in Chemnitz, the participants will approach a range of biographies of the victims, made available by the memorial site, under the supervision of Sascha Hommer in an artistic way.



Dr. Ole Frahm: Antisemitische Karikaturen im Comic

Tim und Struppi

Comics sind für ihre klischeehaften Bilder berüchtigt. Rassistische, sexistische und antisemitische Stereotypen wurden durch die seriellen Bilder viele Jahre vervielfältigt – in einer Gesellschaft, die sich durch Ausschlüsse, Konkurrenz und die Produktion von Stereotypen auszeichnet. Ole Frahm geht in seinem Vortrag der Frage nach, ob die Karikatur einen Erkenntniswert besitzt oder ob sie nur gesellschaftliche Klischees und Abwertungen reproduziert. Der Vortrag wird Beispiele aus der Geschichte der Karikatur (wie sie von Eduard Fuchs in dem Band “Die Juden in der Karikatur” gesammelt wurden), klassische Comics wie Hergés Tim und Struppi und aktuelle Comics und Karikaturen zeigen, erläutern und zur Diskussion stellen.

Montag, 29.06.2015 um 19 Uhr im AJZ-Chemnitz