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Threads: From the Refugee Crisis

A heartbreaking, full-color graphic novel of the refugee drama
In the French port town of Calais, famous for its historic lace industry, a city within a city arose. This new town, known as the Jungle, was home to thousands of refugees, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, all hoping, somehow, to get to the UK. Into this squalid shantytown of shipping containers and tents, full of rats and trash and devoid of toilets and safety, the artist Kate Evans brought a sketchbook and an open mind. Combining the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling, Evans has produced this unforgettable book, filled with poignant images—by turns shocking, infuriating, wry, and heartbreaking.

Accompanying the story of Kate’s time spent among the refugees—the insights acquired and the lives recounted—is the harsh counterpoint of prejudice and scapegoating arising from the political right. Threads addresses one of the most pressing issues of modern times to make a compelling case, through intimate evidence, for the compassionate treatment of refugees and the free movement of peoples. Evans’s creativity and passion as an artist, activist, and mother shine through.

Reviews

  • “Through Kate Evans’s firsthand report from the Calais Jungle we meet the refugees, get a vivid look at their living conditions, and witness the impressive resourcefulness of the volunteer operation that sprang up to help. Evans transforms the human ‘flood’ into shimmering droplets as she works and eats with the refugees, getting to know them as individuals, forging intimate connections while sketching their portraits. Evans both captures the wrenching reality of a seemingly intractable problem and makes an eloquent argument for its solution: open borders.”

Blog

  • Deconstructing ‘The Jungle’, Reconstructing the British Border

    Heaven Crawley responds to the eviction of 'The Jungle' camp at Calais, arguing that it is largely a symbolic attempt by the British government to reassert 'control' over borders in the context of Europe's political crisis. The eviction, and the reinforcement of the wall alongside the port of Calais, does not address the refugee crisis and the diverse reasons for why people move. Professor Heaven Crawley leads research on migration and human security at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. She specialises in aspects of international migration, including policy, public attitudes and the experience of refugees and asylum-seekers.

    Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move, Reece Jones' exploration of the refugee crisis, focusing on how borders are formed and policed, is 40% off until Sunday, 30th of October at midnight (UTC).

    Yesterday, the UNHCR announced 2016 has become the deadliest year on record for people trying to cross the Mediterranean seas to Italy and Greece, with more than 3,800 men, women and children died or were reported missing. Borders kill, of that there can be no doubt.

    The violent borders of which Reece Jones speaks so powerfully in his excellent book are now so much a feature of our everyday lives that it’s difficult to be shocked by what we see and hear. Images of bodies washing up on European beaches would engender a sense of horror and outrage a year ago, yet they now pass us by. Today we see desperate people waiting to be rescued in rubber dinghies that have taken in water, creating an oily chemical sludge, in which some of their fellow travellers lie lifeless. A human soup of bodies rotting in the heat of the sun. Still no one seems to care, much less do anything.

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  • Europe’s Migration Crisis, or Open Borders as Reparations

    Reece Jones is the author of  Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move — a major new exploration of the refugee crisis, focusing on how borders are formed and policed. This book is 40% off until Sunday, 30th of October at midnight (UTC).

    Here he argues that "what both sides of the debate miss is that it is not simply a migration crisis in Europe, but also a crisis created by Europe".


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  • Threads: From the Refugee Crisis

    This week, the French authorities began their operation to dismantle the migrant camp in the east of Calais. On the first day, a steady flow of buses transported some 3,000 adults and children, away from the site in preparation for the demolition. The Guardian reports that the aim is to relocate up to 10,000 inhabitants of the camp to one of 164 specialist centres for registration and processing, but the queues of people waiting to board these buses have no idea were they are to be taken.

    Kate Evans, creator of the smash-hit Red Rosa, is currently completing Threads: From the Refugee Crisis, a heartbreaking, full-colour graphic novel of the refugee crisis that we are publishing next year. Combining the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling, Evans addresses one of the most pressing issues of modern times – the compassionate treatment of refugees and the free movement of people.


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