Open Access

Introduction: Approaches to Queer Temporalities in German Studies

Kyle Frackman and Ervin Malakaj


In their 2022 minicomic titled “Feindselig” (Hostile), the Munich-based nonbinary nonfictional comics and graphic novelist Illi Anna Heger casts into sharp relief how structures of belonging informing urban design support some forms of life and living at the cost of others.1 Across eleven panels, Heger shows how hostile designs thwart attempts by animals and humans to dwell in public settings at particular times and in particular ways. In one panel, a pigeon aims to land on one of two newspaper dispensers in one frame (Fig. 1). In another, a pigeon struggles to alight on a lamp bracket outfitted with landing spikes. Each frame contains one half of a sentence, the whole of which links the two images: “Was für manche Frieden ist, / ist für andere Ausschluss” (What is peace for some / is exclusion for others). The next set of frames includes humans. The largest frame of eleven features a park populated by six humans variously taking up space (Fig. 2). Some sit on benches; one person sleeps on one, while pigeons roam about. The next frame features a park bench outfitted with a seat divider to prevent people from lying on it. As was the case with the previous two frames, these two are linked by a sentence: “nicht willkommen zu sein macht alles schwerer/und defensive Architektur beschränkt wie der öffentliche Raum genutzt werden kann” (being unwelcome makes everything more difficult, / and defensive architecture limits how public space can be used).

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