The ongoing femicides in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, a real and socially relevant and current, ongoing news story is something that I will attempt to present using comic art, adapting Kafka's story to use as a foundation for visual treatments of real horror. The themes of metamorphosis, alienation and the collapse of a family unit are shared in Kafka's text and the news coverage of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The comics medium will be used to communicate with the audience and have them interact with the issue.
I first heard of the situation in Juarez from my Spanish teacher while in Guadalajara, Mexico and the story stayed with me. A very different Mexico was depicted closer to the border than what I had seen in my experiences of travelling around the country. The ugliness of the murders is heightened by the ongoing corruption that surrounds them. I feel confident that I can now give the story a worthy visual treatment, something that has been lacking in recent film treatments of the situation. For years, young women have been preyed on by rapists and murderers while commuting to factories on the outskirts of the city. The killings continue and, to use imagery from Kafka, the men who commit these crimes are like vermin or cockroaches.
Fig.1 David Valente (2010). "Sister Midnight". Nottingham, Issuu.
Fig.2 Screen-shots from the music video for The Drive In (2001). 'Invalid Litter Dept'. USA, Grand Royal / Virgin: 6:07.
['Sister Midnight' is a comic book created by David Valente as part of his MA in Illustration at Nottingham Trent University (UK). The comic book was developed through a process of experimentation and discovery where Franz Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' was used as a study for exposing contemporary social issues in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.]