The German graphic novel artist and author Simon Schwartz visited Goucher College on Sept. 12+13 2016. He gave a workshop on drawing techniques for interested students, and also lectured about his graphic novel drüben! (2009). Born in Erfurt in 1982, Schwartz writes in drüben! about his parents’ difficult exit from the GDR to West Berlin (West Germany) in 1984. He recounts their lives in the GDR, their experiences with oppressions and state-surveillance, and how they came to the decision to leave. His paternal grandparents who had been life-long
ardent supporters of the real-socialist state resented that decision and refused all contact with their son and his family afterwards. In the lecture, Simon Schwartz gave insights into the production and writing process of the graphic novel, and also talked about his conversations with his parents and grandparents. Looking back, Simon Schwartz says that a tremendous rage at his family’s inability to speak with each other was the motivation behind drüben! His insightful lecture ended with a book signing that included original drawings by the author. This lecture was sponsored by the German program and the Evelyn Myers lecture fund.