Response to “Belonging”

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    • #31854

      Hi there! I am so sorry for such late responses. I just ended my school year and immediately led a student leadership retreat. Just got home!!!

      In regards to “Belonging”, what an incredible graphic memoir from a very inventive perspective from a unique voice I had not yet been exposed to. The title itself, so profound, focusing on this idea of “belonging” and what, ultimately, it means to belong and, of course, at what cost. By integrating personal photographs and family memorabilia, Krug bridges the gap between her individual story and Germany’s larger historical narrative. All of her visual artifacts serve as reminders of her family’s past and contribute to a sense of personal investment in her memoir making us all a part of her search. I love this storytelling, scrapbooking style – such high interest for students as she weaves in Germany’s history and her own familial past. I felt anxious in anticipation of Krug’s investigation and what truths she would unveil leading to the constant weight she would carry with her. This made me questions, what responsibilities does one bear regarding choices made by family, neighbors, nation? Of course, it is interesting as our own nation grapples with our national past and our own reconciling (or lack thereof) regarding past injustices.

      Krug’s journey, albeit enlightening in every way, saddened me as I contemplated this idea of “heimat”. Personally, I have never had that sense of belonging. Being adopted and not even knowing my ethnicity until recently, has always left me wondering for some sense of place, some sense of identity. In addition, my adopted family did not keep any memorabilia or share any stories of past generations so I feel empty in that sense of having an understanding of the family that welcomed me with open arms. So, of course, I, too, have no stories to share, to pass on to my own children; rather, I have endured a rather futile search to find out more about my own “belonging”.

      (I actually was introduced to Krug in 2021 when she accompanied Timothy Snyder in his graphic novel interpretation of On Tyranny. Truly a genius mind employing form with such profound messaging both with Belonging and On Tyranny, Krug engages her readers, forcing much introspection.)

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