Graphic Journalism In Joe Sacco Work “Safe Area Gorazde”

In his Safe Area Gorazde work, Joe Sacco has employed the use of words and images or what is commonly known as graphic narratives to narrate the story of Gorazde in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995. Sacco initially used words to give the background information regarding the Gorazde, what transpired or what was happening in the city that attracted journalists. This provide the reader with clear understanding of what the writer is trying to express after this  part using graphics.  Sacco expresses his experience as a journalist in Gorazde during the Bosnia war.  He uses words and images to echo the noise of the Bosnian war and the personal experience that most journalists had in the country during that time. He focused on expressing more on the actual personal experience as a journalist in a war field rather than the political transformation that took place in the country. In so doing Sacco focuses on evoking a far more and very different visceral reality.  He uses this graphical language to demonstrate how ordinary Bosnians were impacted by the war and the entire situation for a period of 4 years. Gorazde was the only area which was controlled by the Bosnia government in the country’s eastern part. He evoked reality of the people living the area by demonstrating their thoughts and words using a graphical and comic writing.  He comfortably achieves his aim of informing the world of the experience of a normal citizen living in the area beside the usual reported political aspects such us the UN move, and the government reaction, among many other highly profiled news.

The books appears like a familiar integration of first-person narration and reportage to a war area. It has employed dramatic force to make it even more interesting. It has also been able to maintain the emblematic quality of an excellent political or historical novel. The entertaining aspects brought about by direct speech or direct conversation between different selected characters and their different appearance in the graphics which include their figurative language gives the book a higher advantage and preference as compared all other novels.  With graphical work, Sacco is able to express characters feelings or body language through facial expressions, the body pose and the environment where the character was speaking from, based on the background pictures. This explains more about the situation to the reader which enhances the reader’s understanding of the actual happening without much struggle. Sacco allows his characters to tell it all through talks. He brings out the tone of the character’s word by demonstrating the character’s actual feeling while speaking of a certain topic through drawings that demonstrates other figurative language. Sacco manages to do this without losing the narrative thread or boring the reader, even when the characters are discussing trivial matters.

The use of graphics has made Sacco story to be more interesting than it could have been if this was written normally like any other novel. This is because Sacco does not give the interesting story of privation, death or siege, but the story of common miseries and joys of daily life in the area. However, he does not miss the most remembered episodes in the life of Gorazde people, for instance he comfortably express Serbian Muslims massacres at the start of the war, and the survivors’ accounts of systemic rapes as well as the terrifying life under siege reality. He actually depicts them at painful and great length in a powerful images series which demonstrates the fear and trauma they created to the Gorazde people and the spectators in the world.  This another section where Sacco demonstrates his interest of demonstrating reality as it is.

His work also insist on portraying characters in their in their ordinary complexity. He did not lose the actual insight of the fact that individuals he knew in the region were not just heroes or victims by normal people who experienced horrible and scary war, loss of resources and part of their life. For instance, Sacco draws the picture of his fixer and host, who was a mathematics teacher at his late 20s and at this time the teacher reflects on the waste of time and the gap between his life and aspired dreams. The teacher feels that there is no need for breaks since there was already wasted time that needed to be recovered. The teacher and other characters just acted as the voice of many individuals living in the area. Sacco uses his novel to demonstrate how less significant the war was to the people of Gorazde and how they felt about it.

Sacco work receives more credit by his quality cartoon pictures and how well he structure his pictures to express a feeling and to give more weight to the spoken words. He chooses his moments vividly to comfortably give the story and experience of the characters without much struggle. A reader can simply predict what to expect in the conversation based on the image structuring. Sacco does extremely in graphics application where the right image pose, facial expression and environment are used to develop a story. He uses moments, frame, image and words to create a great, transparent flow of the story which is intuitive to read. Persuasive and clear communication or dialogue is perfectively integrated with images to enhance the flow of the story.

The writer creates intensity and clarity balance which makes it easy for reader to understand and to follow the story. He has clearly demonstrated body language and facial expression to demonstrate surprise, sadness, joy, fear, disgust and anger. He also carefully select the used in each image to create a balance between the picture and the spoken words. Thus he effectively much the body language and facial expression with the spoken words an aspect that makes them more meaningful and thus creating the actual effect the writer intended to the reader. His graphical writing highly influence the feeling of the reader based on the actual feeling of the page since all visual aspects are employed to enhance this. The work also demonstrates intensive research work regarding Serbians life in Gorazde.

It is therefore important to note that Sacco use of graphic writing does not destroy his initial intention of giving the actual findings of his research regarding Gorazde dwellers during the stated period. He clearly uses this form of writing to demonstrate the actual experience, feelings and desire of Serbians living in the region. He clearly employ realistic images and words to fit different situations experienced by Serbians making the book that would initially appear like comic children’s read important to all historian who would wish to get the inner picture of the situation at Gorazde and how Bosnian government treated Serbians during this period. Therefore Sacco work can be regarded as excellent in the manner in which it combines images and test to give Serbians story. The content clearly demonstrate the irony presented in the title, “safe area Gorazde” since the actual individual experience can actually tell that the place is far from being safe.

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