Standing by the side of people suffering in Syria and Lebanon, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL goes over 6 years of conflict, violence and exile with Meantime… A graphic novel for a different view on Syrian refugees. Available on comics.solidarites.org
Meantime… the daily life of 1 million refugees in Lebanon through a comic
With 6.6 million displaced people and 4.8 million refugees including more than 1 milion in Lebanon alone, the Syrian crisis is one of the most dramatic since World War II. Behind these numbers are men, women and children, uprooted and on the move or playing the waiting game, surviving but alive.
‘’Meantime… whether the situation improves and (then) there’s the uncertainty of what they’ll find upon returning in Syria, life goes on. In Lebanon, for hundreds of thousands of families, life goes on because there is no choice, explains Cyril Blin, Head of Mission at SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL in Lebanon. Waiting is synonymous with hope, for better days, and especially with resilience. This collective graphic novel project gives those families stuck in a dead end between the mountainous borders and the Mediterranean Sea a chance to speak.”
The organisation SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL approached five artists from Lebanon, Syria and France, who went to meet refugees in northern Lebanon that SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL have worked closely with for the past three years, capturing their daily lives in words and images, sharing their stories. This is a collective piece of work about a crisis with international implications and consequences.
5 artists – Syrian, Lebanese and French – in the intimacy of refugee families.
Meantime… gathers graphic novel artists from different walks of life and different nationalities, giving back a voice to Syrian refugees living in Lebanon and offering the reader a variety of outlooks on their personal situations.
“ Each artist, Diala Brisly, Kamal Hakim, Lena Merhej, Lisa Mandel and Nour Hifaoui Fakhoury, has their own particular style, resulting in each story having a unique direction and approach to a given situation observed and experienced.”
In their own way, the 5 artists – Syrian, Lebanese and French –, met refugee families to understand their daily-life. They immerse the reader in the private lives of the Aassoun tower residents. They invite them to experience Abou Khaled’s wedding, stroll the streets of Tripoli, have a coffee while watching Indian shows with Nawja, share love stories with Diala and discover Lisa’s diary.
Lisa Mandel : ‘’Behind a refugee, there is a name, a life, a character…’’
Meantime… is a thought provoking graphic novel that stimulates imagination. It puts the reader in their place and make them discover the lives of others through Lebanese, Syrian and French eyes. It talks about human beings and ups and downs of life rather than numbers.
“With this project, explains Lisa Mandel, I wanted to convey the idea that beyond these mass migrations, we each have an individual journey. There are real people behind these refugees. There are names, surnames, lives, personalities…. Re-humanising those migrants, those who go into exile, reminds you that, not so long ago, members of your family probably lived the same thing.”
The novel is available online in
English, French and Arabic at http://comics.solidarites.org
SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL in Lebanon
The NGO intervenes in Lebanon since march 2012 to improve the living conditions of Syrian refugees in the north of the country where more than a third of them are. From our bases in Tripoli, in the northern district of Lebanon, and in the Beqaa valley, our programs such as monetary assistance, water, hygiene and sanitation as well as repairing shelters and improving social cohesion are addressed to newly arrived refugees, to provide for their specific needs in a flexible and relevant way.
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