Great story, but the text is small and hard to read, some photos are small and hard to see. A map would have been helpful.
A book of stunning originality, blending storytelling, photography and graphics. A story of immense bravery, adventure, and compassion. French photographer Didier Lefevre joins a group of Doctors Without Borders and travels with them to a remote village in Afghanistan, where they set up a make-shift hospital. His story brings to light the suffering and perseverance of the Afghan people and the doctors who risk their own lives to help the most vulnerable and needy. It is part memoir, part history lesson and a truly unforgettable read.
many photos are that much deeper with the story, This is an incredible story, full of insight, compassion, yada yada and a moment spanning 4 months that changed lives. Its deep, its true and it is conducted in the highest form of art and storytelling by using many techneeks in beautiful layout to have that story unfold.
In 1986, French photographer Didier Lefevre accompanies a Doctors Without Borders humanitarian mission into Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. The story follows the group as they prepare for their mission, trek from Pakistan into the Northern region of Afghanistan, set up a make-shift hospital to treat the wounded, and finally trek out of the country and return to France. Lefevre is admittedly naïve about the politics and culture of the region, which gives the reader a fresh perspective from which to view this conflict. Because of the nature of the medium (graphic novel, interspersed with photography), the book is seemingly fast-paced. The text is almost exclusively dialogue and the story is told through a number of characters. This layering of stories along with the layering of medium creates a richness in the work that makes it very hard to put down.
"The Photographer", coupled with a film like "Charlie Wilson's War" might be an interesting pop-culture introduction to the Soviet-Afghanistan conflict for those who were previously unaware or uninterested.
Those interested in this work for both the topic and the format may also be interested in Ted Rall's "To Afghanistan and Back: A graphic travelogue"
Mesmerizing. Beautiful graphics and story, well-told.
Questions for Book Club:
1. What is the value of combining both photographs and illustrations in the book?
2. How does the book build suspense?
3. Compare to “Long way gone; what is the what?; Five quarters of an Orange; Say your one of them” -- these all take place in zones or times of conflict. – How does a setting of conflict/war affect the narrative and plot of a story?
4. How do recent events in Afghanistan affect your reading of this book?
5. Describe some examples of cultural conflict/misunderstanding that are presented in the book. Who is responsible for this conflict? Could it have been mitigated?
6. Who is the most sympathetic character/group in the book and the most unsympathetic? Why?
7. How would you describe Didier Lefevre?
8. The illustrator states that he was influenced by the Tintin illustrations – could you provide examples of similarities?
9. In this graphic novel what do you think is more important the illustrations/photos or the text? Do you think this is true for all graphic novels?
10. Is a graphic novel – ‘literature’?
11. How does the graphic novel differ in telling a narrative from the novel/biography?
12. Could this book be described as an example of “Quest narrative”?
13. How is masculinity portrayed in the book? Femininity?
14. Do you feel this is a positive or negative portrayal of MSF?
15. Describe what you felt were the best examples in the book of
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