Non-Places of Homelessness: Mobility and Affect in Somewhere Nowhere: Lives Without Homes and Borb


  • Wibke Schniedermann Justus Liebig University Giessen


graphic novel, non-place, homelessness, Somewhere Nowhere, Lives Without Homes, Borb, affect


This essay explores the links between home(lessness), place, and affect depicted in two graphic narratives, Somewhere Nowhere: Lives Without Homes (2012), edited by a team of scholars based in the UK, and Borb by the U.S. comic artist Jason Little (2015). Homelessness is understood in both publications as a set of conditions that divests persons of their ability to relate to the places they inhabit. Most places accessible to the urban homeless are those that, according to French anthropologist Marc Augé, impair the social connections and practices which foster community, identity, and understanding. As non-places, these public sites facilitate consumption and economic trade, but inhibit the communication of those who cannot participate in these activities. The case studies in this essay look at the aesthetic and narrative strategies with which the two books criticize and undermine the common hierarchical distribution of urban space and problematize the ambivalent affective bonds between places and human practice. The stories approach the contentious mobility of homelessness, as well as the disruptive capacity of representation, from different angles. One addresses the links between affect and space through experiences of familial abuse and eviction while the other provides comical exaggerations of disgust.

Author Biography

Wibke Schniedermann, Justus Liebig University Giessen

Postdoctoral researcher and Teaching Centre Coordinator


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