Review – ‘A House Without Windows’: A Cry Out for Help for the Children of Bangui

Comic Books Entertainment Reviews

Marc Ellison (Writer) Didier Kassaï (artist)

This graphic documentary takes a hard look on a difficult topic: children caught in armed conflict.

Told in a style that mixes photos and illustrations, the valiant Didier, pencil in hand, approaches whoever is willing to talk to him, with only empathy and understanding, going where probably no one has dared to go, inside the warring zones of Bangui, at the Central African Republic.

The street children of Bangui are trapped in armed conflict, surviving in the streets, many escaping abuse or the death of their parents at the hands of soldiers from different bands. They have a harsh life, so devoid of hope, that many call this land “a house without windows.”

In many ways, these terrible lives have the same cadence as other zones struck with poverty, many hiding away in our very own cities around the world: child abuse leads to children leaving their homes and facing life on the streets, where many become addicted to cheap narcotics and are even forced to prostitute themselves. Perhaps looking at this work, with its soft colors and light, might help us remember: children need us, in impoverished zones, by the thousands. Sometimes it seems just easier to close our eyes, right?

Through illustrations, photos, and videos (activated via QR codes), this comic will take us into the heart of this “forgotten crisis.” Didier Kassaï is a Central African artist and Marc Ellison is a British photojournalist. Together, they will take us into a journey with Bangui’s children and what they do to survive: in the streets, in diamond mines, in refugee camps.

First published in French, this combination of photojournalism and graphic novel won the 2017 gold medal for best report awarded by the association of UN correspondents (United Nations Foundation).

A House Without Windows is on sale since March 23, 2021.

Publication Date: March 23, 2021
Edition: Softcover Trade
Format: 160 pages – Color
ISBN: 9781643375427
Price: $19.99 – £16.99 – Can$26.99

Featured image by Diddier Kassaï, all images belong to Humanoids

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