Comics as Third Space: An Analysis of the Continuous Negotiation of Identities in Postcolonial Philippines
Comics in the Philippines has taken on many uses for the Filipino people. They have been sources of entertainment, education, and political and social commentaries. History has been witnessed to the rise and fall of Philippine comics but the 21st century is seeing a revival of the medium and the industry. It is within this context that an inquiry about Filipino identity is situated. Employing the analytical framework of postcolonialism, particularly Homi K. Bhabha’s concepts of Hybridity and the Third Space, this study analyzes three contemporary Philippine comics, Trese, Filipino Heroes League, and Dead Balagtas. The study was able to draw three themes that represent how Filipinos inhabit hybrid worlds and hybridized identities. First, the third space emerged through the use of hybrid worlds in the comics. Second, (re)imagined communities are established through the use of intertextual signifiers. Third, (re)negotiated identities are expressed through visual and narrative devices such as the use of Philippine mythology, historical and contemporary contexts, and language. In conclusion, comics can be considered as Third Space where these identities have the agency and opportunity to be expressed and represented.
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