Mirrors 2: Five New Tales of Lesbian Desire

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Corridor: As a point of reference, however, the family is of minor importance. Kari shares a flat with two girls, Billo and Delna, whose personal stories remind us of the fact that family, in the graphic novel, is not a dependable concept. Brighu and Kari both negotiate and ponder these aspects, and we will see what role they play in their establishing a sense of belonging or overcoming strangeness. Where gold trees with silver boughs bear pomegranates with real ruby seeds.

Floors of marble, ceilings of brocade. Place where twelve dancing princesses dance through the night until the soles of their shoes wear out. Patil Kari : The visuals neatly illustrate the gap between signifier and signified: instead of a fairy tale palace we are presented with a matter-of-fact layout of the flat and we see the placement of names in a grid rather than a space inhabited by individuals.

Both Kari and Brighu are aware of the significance of objects. We find Kari repeatedly formulating the idea that a space that is filled with the personal items of those that inhabit it signifies home and belonging. Kari realizes that she has penetrated only the spatial but not the social boundaries of the group of flatmates. Later in the narrative we see Kari sitting on the roof of her house watching a family in the opposite building through their window. For Kari, an assemblage of everyday objects suggests that a place is inhabited by people; clutter signifies both spatial and social belonging.

True to the tradition of this apparently kindred spirit, Brighu collects all sorts of wondrous items, ranging from hard-to-find books and pens to tales about the city and its inhabitants. Corridor: 6. In Corridor we thus learn at the very beginning of the story that wholeness is not only connected to a physical or social home but must also be seen as the eternal search for metaphysical completeness. Importantly, both in Kari and Corridor the objects in the home do not need to be used or employed in any way.

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Their main significance lies in being there and providing a meaning merely by what they stand for. As briefly mentioned above, in Kari both Billo and Delna have already lived in the flat before Kari moves in; they have known each other for some time, and we learn that they have swapped boyfriends at some point in the past. Given this shared history of Billo, Delna and their partners, Kari feels like an outsider. Familiarity and repetition—good or bad—give Kari a sense of security and provide her with a reliable constant to fall back upon.

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Murthy, who engages him in a conversation. This statement gets ironically twisted by the choices Brighu makes in order to settle back in, i. Significantly, just as Brighu reclaims his city by going back over his own well-trodden paths, for Kari, who struggles with the sensation of not feeling at home, the new city is not a stable entity. After the break-up of her relationship with Ruth, Kari observes:.

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A city alters when a person leaves. It drops drawbridges, grows new roads, looks hairy at dusk. For Kari the absence of familiarity and routine goes hand in hand with a sense of not -belonging. The loss of social togetherness, for her, entails a transformation of the spatial dimension of the city as well. Both graphic novels touch upon these themes, but as it is only Kari who addresses them explicitly we will, in the following, concentrate on her narrative. Kari : 20— From the voice-over commentary underneath the image, however, we learn that even these one-sided conversations with her mother are comforting for her because they provide her with the personal interaction that is missing in her flat:.

The only person who always wants to talk to me is Mama. Every Friday, at 10 pm, is the long call home. Mama talks, I listen. When I get back home, the silence has teeth again.

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My bed feels as large as a football field. Once again Kari is shown as the embodiment of the stranger who has entered the space but not penetrated the social boundaries of the new group. In spite of her spatial proximity to Billo and especially Delna, with whom she shares a room, she remains remote and feels lost—even in her own bed, the classical safe haven.

At a later point, however, it is interesting to witness that the very silence she is bemoaning in the above quote, becomes a precious asset. For Kari, meaningful personal relationships not only involve the right to communication but also the right to be silent if she so wishes. For Kari it is her colleague Lazarus, her friend Angel and even her casual acquaintances Alexa and Manuel who provide her with the relationships she needs in order to develop a feeling of belonging.

Among others, Brighu relies on his cousin, his girlfriend Kali, and on the bookseller Jehangir Rangoonwalla.

Mirrors 2: Five New Tales of Lesbian Desire

At the same time, the social group that ensures the development of a feeling of belonging diffuses into the open—as the family has ceased to be the basic reference point, the lives of both Kari and Brighu become more socially fragmented. Traditional responsibilities and tasks of the family, such as, for example, decisions about the selection of partners or the responsibility of caring for—and physically tending to—the dying are transferred to a variety of different people, as is the case in the relationship between Kari and Angel who is suffering from cancer.

Commensality—the sharing of food and space—plays a vital role in establishing social relations. Here, too, commensality and homemade food signify home and belonging. The girls are a lot cheerier, and a lot more interested in one another. On such days, the conversation wanders along a familiar track.

These suppers, it appears, offer everything that is needed to establish a sense of home and belonging: familiarity, repetition, homemade food, togetherness, communication and intimacy.

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After all, a home away from home, the image seems to imply, is not easily established; it is a difficult and winding way from the spatial into the social arena of a new home. Belonging, in Kari and Corridor , is negotiated against the background of these criteria. Accordingly, the global cultural milieu of the two graphic novels is shown as a natural playground for the protagonists.

Moreover, they are not individual experiences: others—the individuals depicted in the paintings—have had them too, even though they or rather we, as the beholders may have interpreted them differently. This suggests that the general criteria that are mentioned as important for producing a sense of belonging have been pre-established in these homes. Nevertheless, in the spaces of the graphic novel, Kari and Brighu are allowed to act and live much more independently and unconventionally than protagonists in other narrative genres. The graphic novel, it has been said, is an alternative space— Corridor and Kari show that it negotiates alternative modes of urban living outside classical family models.

Allen, Graham. London, New York: Routledge. Apte, Mahadeo L. Baldick, Chris. Banerjee, Sarnath. The Harappa Files.

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Baudrillard, Jean. The System of Objects. New York: Verso. Bhatia, Gautam, Shankar L. Bhopa, Birju L. Bhopa and Ghansham. Chennai: Tranquebar Press. Chute, Hillary L.

Das, Sisir K. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. Freitag, Sandria B. Gangwani, Priya, and Sreejita Biswas, eds. A Queer Graphic Anthology. Gaysi Family Media Pvt Ltd. Gravett, Paul. Harder, Hans. Delhi: Rajpal and Sons. Kaur, Ravinder. Kristeva, Julia. New York: Columbia University Press. As the episode began to gain notoriety, showrunner and writer Charlie Brooker stated that he set the cloud-based paradise in because the real-life restrictions on LGBT rights in the US at the time—namely restrictions on the right to marry in California where the story is set—heightened the appeal of an alternate universe.

That said, to fully actualize, this lesbian couple must assume positions that render them problematic and soulless, taking up personas that transcend their lived identities. Additionally, Yorkie and Kelly do not regard the institution of marriage with the same significance. While Yorkie plans to spend eternity in San Junipero and sees marriage as an expression of love, Kelly views the ceremony as an artifact of an archaic system. While alive, Kelly visits San Junipero to escape her bounded reality.

But upon her death and the dissolution of her physical body, Kelly does not intend to be digitized and join Yorkie in San Junipero. Kelly would rather assume the same fate as her deceased daughter and husband. They are able to make their own reality independent of the tropes of genre that influence their interpersonal connection.

We also are led to believe that they can opt out of this afterlife at any point in time. By verbally sharing stories of their pasts and interacting both in the real world and in San Junipero, the two protagonists break out of the strictures of the datafied world, which otherwise confines and defines them. In bending the rules to visit San Junipero for extra time or refusing to dress in a way that recalls cinematic tropes, Kelly and Yorkie express an individuality that preserves their humanity. Keeping the virtual and real as bounded opposites which permeably can be traversed, the episode poses its alternate reality as a site of potentiality, and one which is not completely removed from the actualities of the present.

The reconciliation of a finite reality coexisting with virtuality relies heavily upon an appreciation of the dual temporality of this existence. San Junipero may be a beautiful place where experiences are uplifting and memories can be sentimental, but these benefits must coexist with and rely upon a dystopic view of the reality to which it stands in opposition.

In order for San Junipero to look good, the real world has to look very, very bad. A slight jump cut emphasizes her jarred reaction when she sees a simulated car crash in the game. These characters often are female and often are killed after experiencing happiness. In , the death on The CW, — of fan-favorite out lesbian character Lexa Alycia Debnam Carey brought this trope to the forefront. Allison Ross , a third year Ph.