Cartoonist and author Simon Schwartz
was born in Erfurt, Germany in 1982, at a time when the repressive Socialist Unity Party controlled the region, a part of history he captures in his autobiographic debut graphic novel drüben! (The Other Side of the Wall)
. Recently honored with the Independent Publisher Book Award (2016), the novel tells the narrative of the protagonist’s willingness to leave the communist side of the Wall in search of freedom.
Based on his own parents’ painful personal experiences of reprisal and alienation in East Germany after announcing their intention to leave for the West, The Other Side of the Wall
eloquently depicts the challenges faced by those whose State once inspired but ultimately turned on them. A new life on the western side of the Wall meant not only freedom, but also uncertainty and the fragmentation of relationships with family and friends.
studied Illustration at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW). He taught editorial illustration at HAW and the BTK University of Art & Design, Berlin, and works as a freelance illustrator for several well-known magazines, newspapers and agencies. Schwartz is the winner of several awards, including the Max and Moritz Prize (2012) and the ICOM Independent Comics Award (2010).
Moderated by Antje Krüger
, Assistant Professor of German at Goucher College.