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Michael Morpurgo says:
The Paul Nash of our era. No one has captured in art the destruction and suffering of modern warfare as powerfully as George Butler. With his pen and brush he tells the stories of the suffering of the refugee and the migrant wherever the wars are in this turbulent world. There is terrible beauty in his drawings. He means what he paints, opens our eyes and hearts to the suffering, tells the tale of our fractured humanity, helps us to know more clearly the lives of others caught up in conflict, so that we can begin to mend shattered lives, to give shelter and homes and hope where there is so little.
Mishal Husain says:
The humanity of this artist shines out from every stroke of his brush.
Bear Grylls says:
This book powerfully shows the raw struggle and heart breaking humanity from some of our world’s highest tension spots - all told through art
Lily Cole says:
A powerful, illuminating and moving book, that will open your mind and heart.
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury says
The simplicity and power of his pictures pierces all our defences.
This is the second starred review for Drawn Across Borders (Booklist)!*DRAWN ACROSS BORDERS [STARRED REVIEW!]
Love Reading. Joanne Owen
Written and illustrated by award-winning artist and current affairs specialist George Butler, Drawn Across Borders is a unique empathy-inspiring portrayal of the affecting personal experiences of twelve migrants, covering countries as diverse as Tajikistan, Myanmar, Kenya, Syria and Palestine. It’s an honest, awe-inspiring tribute to the featured individuals, a testament to the strength of the human spirit, and a timely reminder that real people lie behind every news story on migrants. Real people with real (and varied) reasons for leaving places they once called home.
Butler frames the book with brilliant clarity: “People move around the world for many reasons. Some migration is voluntary; most is not.” The written portraits are deeply personal, framed by the author’s experiences on the frontlines of - for example - refugee camps, and based on his conversations with migrants. When combined with the accompanying painterly illustrations, they create a book that draws the heart and eye to a clutch of stories that should be known.
True Stories of Human MigrationAuthor: George Butler Illustrator:
From the Middle East, Kenya, Tajikistan, Eastern Europe, and Myanmar, Butler shares stories of migration that put a human face on a global phenomenon.The book is organized into 12 illustrated stories of people on the move. While some seek refuge from war, others migrate in search of better livelihoods. In a story about Tajikistan’s migrant workers, Butler writes, “it struck me that human migration is often thought of as one-directional, but this movement of people is on a continuous loop—an enormous, annual commute to work.” On the Balkan route during what some have termed Europe’s recent “refugee crisis,” he recollects that “on one side [of a new fence] armored police patrolled with batons, while groups of refugees and migrants, carrying their lives and children on their backs, were on the other.” The spare, penetrating ink sketches portray facts and convey emotions in a way that allows readers to see through the artist’s eyes. They are supported by contextual narrative recounting what was happening when it was drawn. The range of migration experiences covered is impressive. In addition to displacement across borders, it includes less-discussed topics—internal displacement; refugees who return to still-struggling home countries; and a section on Palestine and the right to movement—all without failing to note that migration has existed for centuries. Together, text and art portray their dreams, the burdens they carry, and the uncertainty they experience. An exquisite piece of journalism imbued with care. (Nonfiction. 10-adult)
Drawn across Borders: True Stories of Human Migration. By George Butler.
A man behind bars in a Syrian prison poses for the artist, eyes staring directly at him, as well as at the reader; an Iraqi girl smiles out from deep within a caravan of refugees passing through Greece; people huddle around a fire in a warehouse in Belgrade while the cold seeps into their bodies through the concrete floor. This is a work of art, compassion, and activism, with journalist and illustrator Butler using his craft to bear witness to and build awareness of the effects of war on civilians whose lives are treated as mere collateral for those in power. The book includes accounts from 10 places ravaged by war between 2012 and 2018. Each account includes a snippet of conversation with someone Butler met: children and adults displaced by war and politics—but never abject victims. They have dignity, humor, tenderness, and, most important, names. We get to know them momentarily before they have to move on in search of safety. In this visually stunning volume, Butler uses sharply defined ink lines to create the contours of people and landscapes, and washes of watercolor that bleed into one another add depth and context. A powerful work of skill and sensibility. — Amina Chaudhri
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd ISBN: 9781406392166
Number of pages: 56
Weight: 555 g
Dimensions: 242 x 290 x 12 mm