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Very Normal People

Anna M. Szaflarski
AKV Berlin
Artists' Books

Author: Anna Szaflarski
written and illustrated by Anna M. Szaflarski
co-published by AKV Berlin and BOM DIA BOA TARDE BOA NOITE, 2019

Hard cover 31 × 23.5 cm, 80 pages b/w
full-colour poster inlay, 59 × 44 cm
Graphic design by Santiago da Silva
ISBN 978-3-96436-015-1

In this collection of stories and illustrations, Anna M. Szaflarski examines the subject of violence, in particular as it is experienced through the female body. Beginning with an autobiographical experience, the story triggers a dissociative state that plunges the book in and out of imaginary worlds and associative narrative threads.

Very Normal People, starts as a story of domestic violence, but moves on to larger ideas of inter-human violence as well as violence that occurs between humans and non-humans. Szaflarski considers the rage and potential violence that she knowingly carry around inside of her. She questions the physical location of the woman’s corporeal boundary ; expecting it to be the sturdy walls that define her unquestioned bodily property, instead to find that she doubts that they can actually protect her, even legally. Is the idea of a private boundary only a pacifier, while in reality the trip wire of our secure perimeter is inevitably and frequently set off by both human and non-human violators. And lastly, who owns these stories? Although personal stories of violence are so commonplace, why are so many discredited and minimized, while others are celebrated with praise and financial rewards?

  1. normal people

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