Sacco, Joe. Footnotes in Gaza. 2009. Metropolitan Books. Henry Holt and Company. New York, USA.

“As someone in Gaza told me, “events are continuous ”. Palestinians never seem to have the luxury of digesting one tragedy before the next one is upon them…younger people often viewed my research into the events of 1956 with bemusement…the past and the present cannot be so easily disentangled; they are part of a remorseless continuum, a historical blur.”

Footnotes in Gaza: A book review by Theresa WolfwoodSacco has once again created an amazing documentation in comic strip form. He has brought the blur into sharp focus and shows how as one Palestinian said to him, hatred was ´planted´ in hearts. Sacco chooses a graphic, raw and direct way of communicating history and experience. This is a new trend in political reportage and is very successful in reaching popular readership, particularly among the young.
He provides well— researched and factual detailed background and context in print — but his story is all there in bold images. The faces of people are expressive and clearly delineated. The action is boldly portrayed. He spares nothing in illustration or captions in his record. He starts by researching a buried footnote in history of a massacre in Gaza in 1956. He goes to Gaza to find the story behind this forgotten (by most of the world) event. Some witnesses remember and tell their story. Others relate family memories. During his stay in Gaza, he finds that continuous thread of bitterness as the region goes through one disaster after another. He weaves all the memories and evidence of the past into his experience of the present — living with and speaking to many Palestinians who continue to try to live ´normal´ lives in a time of extreme hardship under the blockade and amidst the rubble of the latest disaster — the invasion by Israel in 2008— 2009.
The images and personal words are painful to behold, but our society needs to face up to the disasters we (our governments and mainstream society) support with our actions, taxes and —our ignorance.

Filed under Book Reviews, Joe Sacco