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~READ DOWNLOAD ⚇ The Photographer ☤ In , Afghanistan was torn apart by a war with the Soviet Union This graphic novel photo journal is a record of one reporter s arduous and dangerous journey through Afghanistan, accompanying the Doctors Without Borders Didier Lefevre s photography, paired with the art of Emmanuel Guibert, tells the powerful story of a mission undertaken by men and women dedicated to mending the wounds of war A very enjoyable graphic novel, and one of my favorites that I ve read It tells the story of Didier Lefevre, a photographer who accompanies a Doctors Without Borders team into 1980s Afghanistan to set up a hospital during the Soviet Afghan War It s filled with interesting cultural observations and anecdotes and beautiful mountain shots I was not overly impressed by the photography, to be honest, but I know very little about photography It suffers a little from being about the least interesti A very enjoyable graphic novel, and one of my favorites that I ve read It tells the story of Didier Lefevre, a photographer who accompanies a Doctors Without Borders team into 1980s Afghanistan to set up a hospital during the Soviet Afghan War It s filled with interesting cultural observations and anecdotes and beautiful mountain shots I was not overly impressed by the photography, to be honest, but I know very little about photography It suffers a little from being about the least interesting member of the party That feels like a mean way to phrase it sorry, Didier The photographer himself is a perfectly interesting, but he s surrounded by a fascinating team of doctors who have spent large swaths of their lives in an out of Afghanistan It s hard not to want a bitof that, especially about the woman who led the team despite a being in a heavily patriarchal area of the world Didier can also be a bit frustrating at times, particularly due to one choice made near the story s end Still, a really interesting read that illuminates Afghanistan during the Soviet Afghan War and the admirable work done by Doctors without Borders A stunning work of beauty The graphic structure is magnificent, to the point that I was often spendingthan 5 minutes just looking at a single page, to absorb all the details But also in terms of the content, this is a true modern day adventure with substance The main charachter s ineptitude often sticks out, but in the end it s the same ineptitude that most of us westerners would display in those circumstances, and that makes it easier to get drawn into the narration and live the advent A stunning work of beauty The graphic structure is magnificent, to the point that I was often spendingthan 5 minutes just looking at a single page, to absorb all the details But also in terms of the content, this is a true modern day adventure with substance The main charachter s ineptitude often sticks out, but in the end it s the same ineptitude that most of us westerners would display in those circumstances, and that makes it easier to get drawn into the narration and live the adventure through his skin And you can learn something in the process I agree with many reviewers that it was silly for Didiere Rest In Peace to want to go back to Pakistan by himself, especially given that what drove that decision was a comment by a teammate who said I feel like the real work will start when you leave Paraphrasing that in the language of apes, that comment was really Didiere, you are here as a tourist, while I am here doing the real tough work, therefore I am better than you That s not important per se, but it made me reflect on our human nature, and how consciously or unconsciously we cannot escape our desire to see ourselves surpass the others, to be on some higher level in our own personal narrative of our life Even among people who are doing incredibly useful work, like MSF, everyone needs to find their own illusion of superiority in order to feel good about themselves Another example of this phenomenon, as observed in the book, is when one of the doctors tells Didiere that he does not want to go back to a cushy job in a cushy French hospital As if doctors in Western hospitals were not just as useful as MSF doctors Same human nature, right there, over and over the need for an illusion of superiority And what is yours Non fiction seems so easy some times All you have to do is lead an interesting life and it s all taken care of for you plot, characterization, twists, insights All that remains is the compiling and editing, which is no minute task, but there is a sort of unpredictable depth in non fiction which is hard to replicate Many have tried, but verisimilitude is the mark of the master.Here we have a foreigner a Frenchman who does not even speak the language, going on a very real modern adventure in Non fiction seems so easy some times All you have to do is lead an interesting life and it s all taken care of for you plot, characterization, twists, insights All that remains is the compiling and editing, which is no minute task, but there is a sort of unpredictable depth in non fiction which is hard to replicate Many have tried, but verisimilitude is the mark of the master.Here we have a foreigner a Frenchman who does not even speak the language, going on a very real modern adventure into the heart of a dangerous, forbidding, war torn country Here at my computer, safe and comfortable, it can be easy to forget that such adventures still exist out there, in the world, for those brave enough to grasp them.We read our fantasies, romances, and suspense stories forgetting there are people who actually live these lives Our small, unprepared hero wanders on tired legs with a pack horse by his side, meeting tribal chieftains, warlords, bandits, and caravans Overhead, Russian helicopters pass by like dragons, sending all who hear them running for cover from their merciless, capricious breaths of fire There are long stretches where the land is blighted with mines, and all who leave the path risk being lost forever People believe in their religions in a surprisingly literal way, in the way which none of us could ever replicate, for their world is not one of surrounding doubts and differing opinions Didier expresses the difficulty of this gulf admitting he doubts existence of god, he d hardly be believed, inciting either derision or violence.But, of course, it is ethnocentric folly to imagine that the Afghanis are in any way a glimpse into primitive life , as it was long ago They are a nation and a culture of the modern world, as uninformed or poverty stricken as any individual member may be.Didier and the doctor s are here to help these people, to confront this cultural conflict, and trite as it sounds, what is remarkable is not the differences they find with the locals, but the points of similarity They work together and communicate, and despite the great differences, they find companionship, friendship, and some remarkable insights.It perplexes me to think that reading the account of a foreigner, new to the country, ignorant of the language, naive about the culture, is able to provide a deeper andlasting insight into this culture and the joy of its people than a fictional outing like The Kite Runner , even though the latter was written by a born Afghan.Yet that book shows all the things that make realist fiction so fraught the author is always tempted to include not only his experiences, but his own philosophies and conclusions, often through romanticized portrayals and overloaded symbolism Thus it soon becomes a politicized mess, all the insights it might have had being lost in the author s message, showing littleknowledge of the country than one might have gotten from the past few decades of world news.Perhaps it shouldn t surprise me that an outsider would be able to reveal so much, especially as he transmits to us the understanding of other outsiders who have since become enmeshed with the culture Bias and blindness to those things most important to us are common threads in humanity, which must be constantly fought against lest they overtake us unawares One approaching a culture from the outside still has biases, but uninformed biases are easier to shake then those which are bred in.Didier s portrayal is kind, sometimes bordering on politically correct, though he never excuses the ignorance or meaness of individuals, expressing his frustration and disgust with the prevalent violence But the book is also full of respect and gratitude for those to whom he connected, and with his enchantment with the land and its people, both stark, beautiful, and yet welcoming.The form of the book is curious Didier s photographs are interwoven with comic panels, creating a visual narrative of the journey and his experiences The art is decidedly french, with sparse, even gestural lines and simple, expressive characters Didier compares his journeys to his childhood memories of Tintin, and there is surely a parallel in this young Frenchman, lost in a foreign land, meeting native people friendly and menacing, escaping one danger only to slip into another, grateful for a mouthful of water, a corner to sleep in, or a smiling face.But then such real adventures are always compelling, especially when accompanied by evocative photos The story of the West and the Mid East is still central to us, still unsure, alternately budding and withering, making this tale especially poignant so much so that it takes a moment to realize that the events described herein occured thirty years ago.There is always some fictionalization, some coyness in the portrayals even in nonfiction The author still decides what we are shown, what is highlighted such is the nature of journalism, or of storytelling Taking this tale with a grain of salt, it is still inviting, mysterious, surprising, bearing the mark of verisimilitude, and I am tempted to accept it, as it is, if only because to falsify it has proven to be beyond the skill of most writers, even those with the knowledge required to create it My Suggested Reading In Comics Fantastic. Based on their title alone, it makes sense as to why M decins Sans Fronti res Doctors Without Borders won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 But I have to admit I knew very little of the organization itself and the true challenges of their work It would have been far too simplistic to say it was a group of committed doctors who traveled to different global hotspots to administer medical aid I knew it would be farcomplicated than just voluntary service, but it wasn t until I read THE PHOTOG Based on their title alone, it makes sense as to why M decins Sans Fronti res Doctors Without Borders won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 But I have to admit I knew very little of the organization itself and the true challenges of their work It would have been far too simplistic to say it was a group of committed doctors who traveled to different global hotspots to administer medical aid I knew it would be farcomplicated than just voluntary service, but it wasn t until I read THE PHOTOGRAPHER that I truly ascertained the herculean mission that these brave doctors undertake Set in Afghanistan during the height of the Afghan Russian War in 1986, THE PHOTOGRAPHER is a diary of sorts of Didier Lefevre, a French photojournalist who is coerced by M decins Sans Fronti res MSF to document a campaign into the heart of Afghanistan, to deliver medical aid to the local Mujahideen who were fighting against the Russians With no direct access for humanitarian aid into Afghanistan, the MSF team must trek, by foot, from the Pakistani border into the heart of the conflict It is no easy passage, as beyond the physical hurdles of treacherous passes, inhospitable weather, and anarchic tribes, so too must a web of politics and bureaucracy be dealt with Lefevre, a rookie in foreign affairs in the region, plays witness to the resourcefulness and knack of the MSF doctors as they barter, deal and negotiate their way through warlords, tribesmen and militia Of even greater challenge is that the crux of the MSF s negotiations are handled by a woman doctor, Juliette, who uses her gender in a male dominated society as an asset and not a crutch Didier watches and documents the proceedings with equal fear and admiration, learningof his cohorts and the Afghan people with each passing day and mile After an arduous journey to the heart of the conflict, the MSF doctors set up base camp and immediately begin treating the wounded Their dedication is beyond description, as they work tirelessly and with limited resources to give medical aid to the forgotten and those left to the wayside to die They treat men of questionable character, but do not flinch in their responsibilities as caregivers They treat the young, the old, and the women, all done with very specific care to the traditions and beliefs of the Afghans, despite the fact that the doctors themselves may personally disagree with their patients ideologies The entire journey is recorded through Didier s photographs, presented not as developed prints but rather as contact sheets The photographs are married with comic book panels that describe the actions away from the photographs, and the synthesis of photographic image to sequential storytelling is remarkable and unlike any war journal ever produced Where the comic book portions fill in the gaps by challenging our creativity and imaginations to recreate the MSF campaign, the photographs reinforce the gravity and reality of the situation The use of contact sheets gives an almost cinema like continuity to the work, and it gives insight to the environment and allows us to get a complete scope of Didier s vision and skill as a photographer The images, both drawn and photographed, are simply stunning This is a work of tremendous impact and significance, highlighting not only the horrors of mankind but also the selflessness of civilization We see the best and worst of humanity on display, and the book exists entirely within the gray of that spectrum Constant however is the credo of M decins Sans Fronti res, and the doctors involved never once stray away from their humanitarian objective In this day in age it is too easy to be critical and cynical of multimillion dollar NGOs, but THE PHOTOGRAPHER is solid, undeniable, photographic proof that the women and men of M decins Sans Fronti res are truly noble and selfless, and over deserving of our greatest respect, support and admiration A simply unforgettable book and experience, and one of the best books of 2009 The book is a joint effort between Didier Lef vre, the eponymous photographer, and Emmanuel Guilbert, the artist For the assignment described in the book, Lef vre worked alongside a team from M dicins Sans Fronti res Doctors Without Borders The journey begins in summer 1985 in Peshawar, Pakistan as Lef vre meets the team of doctors and nurses who will setting up a hospital in a remote region in Afghanistan They spend weeks planning their upcoming trek into the war torn country obtaining me The book is a joint effort between Didier Lef vre, the eponymous photographer, and Emmanuel Guilbert, the artist For the assignment described in the book, Lef vre worked alongside a team from M dicins Sans Fronti res Doctors Without Borders The journey begins in summer 1985 in Peshawar, Pakistan as Lef vre meets the team of doctors and nurses who will setting up a hospital in a remote region in Afghanistan They spend weeks planning their upcoming trek into the war torn country obtaining medical supplies, food stores, and finally horses and donkeys, to make the three week long journey into the mountainous regions of the country They are escorted by members of the Mujahideen resistance They avoid the Soviet held roads and caravan instead through trecherous mountain passes, high altitudes, and swift rivers Along the way, the team stops and greets pays respect to local chiefs and are treated to large feasts and warm hospitality Each town they pass through also offers the chance to hear news about the war front, troop movements, and to treat the injuries and ailments of the people in the towns Lef vre captures many moments on film his photographs are interspersed with the drawings in the graphic novel They reach their destination and immediately begin to set up their hospital a small mudbrick building Lef vre marvels at the teams work and their fortitude to help these people so desperately in need The wounds are severe and traumatic burns, bullet wounds, severed limbs amputations most from the battlefront or from Soviet bombings Some of the stories are so heartbreaking, but the team brings such hope The book is a stunning piece of literature a true snapshot of life at that time in Afghanistan The story is recounted by Lef vre, so you also have several stories about his relationships with the people in the team Juliette, the strong and independent leader, who knows how to mix with both men and women in this fundamentalist Islamic culture John, the burly American doctor with a heart of gold R gis, the anesthesiologist who dreams of opening a winery in sourthern France and the many Afghans Mahmud, Najmudin, and the patients who are treated in the team A book that packs a punch A combination of a graphic novel with the photographs taken by Emmanuel Gilbert when he accompanied a M decins Sans Fronti res mission into Afghanistan in 1986 Text, photos and graphics combine to tell of the one month hike into a remote location where MSF is setting a series of clinics Haunting imagery in a land of seemingly endless beauty but with ruggedness matched to the toughness of its people.Its the time of the Russian invasion, printed film, no cell phones an A book that packs a punch A combination of a graphic novel with the photographs taken by Emmanuel Gilbert when he accompanied a M decins Sans Fronti res mission into Afghanistan in 1986 Text, photos and graphics combine to tell of the one month hike into a remote location where MSF is setting a series of clinics Haunting imagery in a land of seemingly endless beauty but with ruggedness matched to the toughness of its people.Its the time of the Russian invasion, printed film, no cell phones and the MSF team have to carry everything in and out The saddest thing is the fighting continues and MSF has grown and grown to meet the never ending demand for the skills of its dedicated people A 300 plus page tome of a book, told through written text, graphic memoir by graphic novelist Guilbert and photographs by Didier Lef vre , of a photographer committed to social causes, documenting among other things a Doctors Without Borders mission in Afghanistan Some graphic photos and drawings, as one might expect, some upsetting, but also a lot of just documenting the trip Guibert is Lef vre s close friend, so this is a tribute to his friend as well as a look at the relationship bet A 300 plus page tome of a book, told through written text, graphic memoir by graphic novelist Guilbert and photographs by Didier Lef vre , of a photographer committed to social causes, documenting among other things a Doctors Without Borders mission in Afghanistan Some graphic photos and drawings, as one might expect, some upsetting, but also a lot of just documenting the trip Guibert is Lef vre s close friend, so this is a tribute to his friend as well as a look at the relationship between drawing and photography and writing, documenting the work there in various ways, and about the horrors of war there without taking sides in the conflict You get to see close ups of the people there in places far from the cities, and you get to see admirable people trying to get stories out about the process under incredible conditions The book is not sensational it s in fact mundane in many respects, page after page, interspersed with some painful moments My biggest problem with the book is that most of the photos are too small You get the feeling in some of the presentation of film strips comic strips, lots of small images, comics journalism at a fast pace, not fancy, and that s okay, it s not Hollywood, these projects, it s important work for human kind, BUT I d wish for somelarge photographs and or drawings It s nevertheless quite haunting, in some ways This is a fantastic example of what can be done in a non fiction comic for adults As the subtitle states, Didier Lef vre traveled with Doctors without Borders to Afghanistan in the 1980s He photographically documented their mission to bring health care to rural villages on the frontlines of the war with Russia He also kept travel journals The illustrator Emmanuel Guibert filled in the blanks between Lefevre s photographs with his own depictions of the events Lefevre described I m not entire This is a fantastic example of what can be done in a non fiction comic for adults As the subtitle states, Didier Lef vre traveled with Doctors without Borders to Afghanistan in the 1980s He photographically documented their mission to bring health care to rural villages on the frontlines of the war with Russia He also kept travel journals The illustrator Emmanuel Guibert filled in the blanks between Lefevre s photographs with his own depictions of the events Lefevre described I m not entirely sure whether Lefevre served as the firsthand source of those anecdotes or whether they arrived via his wife and friends, since he passed away a couple of years ago and his travel journal was lost even before that Regardless, the combination of photos, story, and comic panels is a potent one While many photos speak for themselves, others are better served by explanation I found Lefevre s actions selfish at time, but this is comic as memoir, and doesn t pretty up the portrait of the photographer anythan it does the depictions of war wounded children Powerful stuff