Illustration: Karrie Fransman


This self-portrait is a message of solidarity 

Karrie Fransman explores the notion of "foreign" in her compelling illustration

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By Marisa Bate on

As part of the International Literature Showcase, a ten month programme run by Writers’ Centre Norwich and the British council, to help promote British writing, graphic novelist and comic creator, Karrie Fransman submitted this one page self-portrait. 

The theme of the showcase is “crossing borders” and Fransman explored the notion of “foreign” in her house, body and language, as well as referencing the fact her parents and grandparents crossed boards from Russia, Poland, Lithuania and Holland to South Africa and into Britain. 


Living though a time in which boats regularly capsize carrying refugees fleeing for safety; a time in which the next American President promised to build a wall on the Mexican border; a time in which the fear of immigration is reshaping the western political power bases, is, to say the very least, overwhelming. 

Fransman has tried to understand our modern times through the prism of herself. The image is beautiful, moving and ultimately a human response to one of the defining issues of our time. Mostly it is an image of solidarity – seeing the foreign in everything we are and do.

And what better message could there be this Christmas? 

See more of  Karrie Fransman's work here

For more information about the International Literature Showcase, visit


Illustration: Karrie Fransman
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