Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Threads From the Refugee Crisis

OMG!  I learned so much from this graphic novel on life in a refugee camp in Calais.  The book is about the author's volunteer work at the "Calais Jungle" refugee camp in Calais, France which was dismantled last year. She uses full color graphics and changing font styles to tell her story.
In Threads you will meet some refugees, see their living conditions, and hear their stories. 

This is a heavyweight book and it took me some time to get through it. I was shocked at how the camp looked and was run.  I was also shocked by how much the involvement of the local police had a negative effect on the refugees. It seems that while some of the refugees had established a sense of humanity in their living conditions, the police destroyed homes and disrupted that sense of normalcy. The author told a story about a pregnant refugee with 5 year old twins who was beat up by the police for no reason and lost her kids. Having the graphics drawn showed me much more than I have ever learned from a traditional news report. As the inside cover blurb states it is filled with "poignant images-by turns shocking, infuriating, wry and heartbreaking." This is an accurate decription. The images are drawn in a childish style that contrasts with the seriousness of the subject matter.

When I finished reading Threads I felt emotionally upset. The author did a great job at showing the horrors of being a refugee. However, her approach to the political issue of immigration, at the conclusion of the book, will probably only appeal to those who already agree with her viewpoints. I think she could have changed some people's minds about immigration if she had used a different type of appeal. 

Threads is one if the best graphic novels that I have ever read and everyone should read it.

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