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Upcoming graphic novel portrays a generation with no security


After the success of her first graphic novel, award-winning comic artist Daria Bogdanska is working on her next book at the School of Arts and Communication (K3). The book will explore what it’s like to live without economic security.

“I have moved homes twenty times in my adult life,” Bogdanska says unceremoniously. “I’m part of what I call the precarious generation.”

Originally from Poland, Bogdanska moved to Malmö four years ago to study at the Comic Art School. In 2016, she published Wage Slaves, a graphic memoir documenting her first year as a newly-arrived migrant in Malmö. The novel sparked a lot of debate and recently landed her a prestigious nomination at Angoulême International Comics Festival.

Young and broke

“Wage Slaves is about starting a new life in a new city, and all the difficulties that go along with that. It’s my story, but it’s also a story about issues like working illegally, exploitation, union organising, and being a migrant,” she says.

During her time at K3, Bogdanska will work on a new book which deals with the housing market. She is also part of mödeplads:serier, a new initiative at Malmö University that aims to create dialogue between comic artists and researchers.

“My second book will be a continuation of my autobiographical style. My generation is the first to have it worse than our parents. When I say worse, I mean we don’t have the same economic security as our parents. We have loans or we cannot afford loans because we don’t have steady jobs; we work without contracts or very short contracts. We don’t own or will never own our own homes. I want to explore what this does to us as psychologically and how it links to politics.

“The great thing about being at K3 is that I have the opportunity to conduct a lot of research for my book. I’m interested in both the housing situation and in Malmö as a city. Being here gives me access to resources and people who are very knowledgeable in this field.”

From punk to academia

Since leaving home at the age of fifteen, Bogdanksa has led what she calls a “turbulent life.” She still finds it hard to process her own success.

“I was this rebellious punk who dropped out of high school, so it’s funny to be working at a university now. I think my class background makes me a little suspicious of my current surroundings, but I’m very happy to be here and I think it’s a really inspiring environment,” she says.

Malmö has made a name for itself as ‘the city of comics’ and Bogdanska considers herself lucky to be part of the comic scene in Sweden.

“The comic scene here is unique. There is a currently a big feminist wave and more and more female comic artists are being published. I think comics are also becoming more mainstream; they’re not just a niche for fantasy enthusiasts and nerds anymore. Comics are becoming more popular and have found their place on the cultural and political radar.”

Text: Maya Acharya

Last updated by Amanda Malmquist