Barbara Yelin

Barbara Yelin
Barbara Yelin
© Martin Friedrich

The jury of the Max und Moritz Award 2024 honours Barbara Yelin's profound artistic achievement in depicting people and their experiences of persecution, war, displacement and violence as well as her lasting commitment against exclusion and hatred.

Her highly acclaimed current book "Emmie Arbel. Die Farbe der Erinnerung" tells the story of a Jewish woman who survived three concentration camps as a child during the Holocaust and its traumatic consequences for her life. At the same time, it conveys an universal message of self-assertion, self-empowerment and the hope and strength of life. Once again, Barbara Yelin succeeds like hardly another in finding a language for the unspeakable with her atmospherically dense drawings and in skilfully implementing the possibilities that graphic literature offers.

Barbara Yelin is not only concerned with coming to terms with the past. In our times of global multi-crises, war, terrorism and growing right-wing extremism, it is her rather urgent concern to focus on the present, to promote dialogue and to always place people and humanity at the centre. She plays a key role in numerous interdisciplinary initiatives that combine art and research. Examples include the international project "Survivor-Centered Visual Narratives", the anthology edited by Charlotte Schallié, the exhibition "Aber ich lebe. Vier Kinder überleben den Holocaust" and the symposium "Comics in Dialog mit den Wissenschaften".

Barbara Yelin is not only one of the most outstanding comic artists of her generation, she is also tirelessly committed to networking the comic scene, furthering the development of graphic literature, communicating it to a wide audience and promoting other artists, for example through the "Comics in Bayern" initiative. In countless readings, talks, television, radio and newspaper interviews, she communicates the opportunities and possibilities of graphic literature in a clever and unpretentious way.

Together with Hannah Brinkmann, Nathalie Frank, Michael Jordan, Véronique Sina, Moritz Stetter and Birgit Weyhe, she is currently initiating and curating the campaign "Wie geht es dir? Illustrators against anti-Semitism, hatred and racism", in which people who have been affected by anti-Semitism, racism or hostility towards Muslims as a result of 7 October have their say. The aim of this project is to promote empathy and dialogue where polarisation and mistrust prevail.

The Max and Moritz jury and the City of Erlangen would like to thank Barbara Yelin with this special award.

Current: Barbara Yelin
Emmie Arbel. Die Farbe der Erinnerung
Reprodukt, 2023