Illustration of a lone figure in silhouette against a circle of white light.

Class of 2016 thesis peek: Anelisa Garfunkel’s ‘A Conjuring in the Gyre’

Here’s a preview of Anelisa Garfunkel’s, A Conjuring in the Gyre. The book will be on display at the 2016 thesis show, And Then…

Conjuring the Gyre_AnelisaGarfunkel


Medium: Illustrated Novella

Publisher: Self

A Conjuring In The Gyre is a futuristic folktale about Lehlia, a young outlier who lives on an isolated island in the middle of a depleted Pacific Ocean. Her people have long suffered from the devastating reaches of modernization and climate change. Their connection to the natural world and their ancient traditions all but disappeared. When a catastrophic wave wipes away everything Lehlia has ever known, the strong-willed 12-year old is forced to flee her drowning island and embark on a journey that will send her straight into the jaws of the mythic Great Pacific Gyre, a toxic vortex thriving on the waste of a throwaway world. Lehlia will need to call on the wisdom of her ancestors to escape the onslaught of chaos that the modern world has stirred up, and ultimately will have to find harmony between the two to survive.

Anelisa Garfunkel is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Her career as a storyteller began over fifteen years ago producing educational films on the tiny island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. Since then she has written, directed and produced television, documentaries, webseries, and short films in the US and abroad. Although the medium of this story is a bit of a departure from Anelisa’s previous work as a filmmaker, the graphic illustrations and lyrical style of the narrative draw heavily on her cinematic roots. Anelisa’s stories are born from a life spent climbing, diving, exploring, and adventuring around the world.

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