A Timely And Incisive Portrait Of A Country On The Tipping PointAfter Developing His Acclaimed Style Of Firsthand Reporting With His Bestselling Graphic Novels Pyongyang A Journey In North Korea And Shenzhen A Travelogue From China, Guy Delisle Is Back With The Burma Chronicles In This Country Notorious For Its Use Of Concealment And Isolation As Social Control Where Scissors Wielding Censors Monitor The Papers, The De Facto Leader Of The Opposition Has Been Under Decade Long House Arrest, Insurgent Controlled Regions Are Effectively Cut Off From The World, And Rumor Is The Most Reliable Source Of Current Information He Turns His Gaze To The Everyday For A Sense Of The Big PictureDelisle S Deft And Recognizable Renderings Take Note Of Almsgiving Rituals, Daylong Power Outages, And Rampant Heroin Use In Outlying Regions, In This Place Where Catastrophic Mismanagement And Ironhanded Rule Come Up Against Profound Resilience Of Spirit, Expatriate Life Ambles Along, And Nongovernmental Organizations Struggle With The Risk Of Co Option By The Military Junta The Burma Chronicles Is Drawn With A Minimal Line, And Interspersed With Wordless Vignettes And Moments Of Delisle S Distinctive Slapstick Humor Delisle manages to capture for us what a non working foreigner not proficient in the local languages would perceive during his her time in Rangoon The heat I d always wondered about it Delisle said his level of tolerance improved over the year he stayed there, so that he could stand up to 90degF before turning on the air conditioner, while when he d arrived, 80degF was his limit.Delisle s wife works as a physician for M decins Sans Fronti res MSF International as a physician, and this time we learn a little about how the process of country siting is chosen, what kind of conditions employees endure as condition of their employment, and a little about the different roles sister organizations have within the same country One can actually use this as a window into the work of the organization as well as into the country.All of Delisle s graphic memoirs are interesting This one made me laugh when he showed a picture of a pen and ink drawn made during the wet, or the rainy season The lines were all running and blurred, as though it had been dunked in a barrel of water or as if one had spilled water onto it The rest of the year is the hot What else is striking is at that time 2007 08 , permits were required for foreigners to travel around the country, due to a great deal of internal unrest.Some of the physicians are stationed at remote outposts, and even though the organization is permitted to operate, getting permission to travel to and from those outposts is difficult and can be dangerous But here the usefulness of having an artist making the trip is apparent We envision the enormous ancient teak house in Mudan that is rented by MSF, and the local translation of a British village complete with fenced front gardens You will remember Orwell was stationed in Burma between the world wars.Anyway, Delisle is not a political writer, nor a journalist, but he adds a heck of a lot to our understanding nonetheless I m now officially a big fan. Burma Chronicles is an autobiographical account of a family who stayed in Burma for one year The author is married to a worker for Doctors Without Borders and their family gets assigned to work in Burma for one year While his wife makes trips into the less populated and underprivileged areas of the country, Guy is left back in the city with his very young son and too much time on his hands He uses this time to do his cartooning, explore the city and get to know the culture a bit.The book is fascinating because of the lack of message Guy isn t here to spout anti Burmese government rhetoric, nor is he making a statement about colonialism, nor any other It s just simply his observations and a normal guy living in a foreign country saying Hey look at this This is weird different cool worrying You can t take from Guy s observations whatever you want And being about a country that many of us wouldn t visit, Guy s book gives us a unique insight into a country and people we only hear about vaguely in modern history books and sometimes in the news in reference to their government The descriptions and drawings are very simple and minimal, but they did make me feel like I was there Another fascinating aspect of the book looked at foreigners in the country and how they live Guys situation and other non profit organisations deal with a lot of red tape and they are generally not that well off But while he is in Burma he connects with other foreign people working for multinationals who live like kings These people live in mini estates with guards, and have their own clubs and compounds which are beautifully maintained Guy is only human and loves being invited to these places, but being a stay at home dad and being invited to a play date with the wives of rich oil workers proves to be a bit awkward I really enjoyed this work and I m going to seek out his others Apparently he and his wife spent time in North Korea I d recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the non super hero graphic novel, and I d encourage anyone who likes travelogues or finding out about different cultures to check it out. I like it when travel writers show me a country that I ll probably never see in my lifetime Burma, also known as Myanmar, has been under military control since a coup in 1962, and it has a reputation of being one of the worst dictatorships on the planet In 2005, President George W Bush called Burma one of six outposts of tyranny, along with North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Zimbabwe and Belarus Guy Delisle and his family spent a year living in Burma while his wife worked for Doctors Without Borders This graphic novel is similar to his other travelogues I ve read, Pyongyang and Jerusalem, in that he draws his day to day life and his experiences in the region As a Westerner who doesn t speak the native language, his main source of social contact comes from other expatriates, mostly people who work for nonprofit agencies Since Guy receives limited outside information government censors strictly control the news there s an amusing section when he first hears a World Health Organization employee talking about bird flu and he spends a month panicking about a potential epidemic His biggest fear is if he and his family were to be quarantined in Burma and wouldn t be allowed to return home to France Guy obsesses about getting enough doses of Tamiflu, until another worker points out that it probably wouldn t work anyway because it was prescribed to treat the seasonal flu, which is a different strain of the virus One of the charms of Delisle s comics are the frames where it s just him looking puzzled and not saying anything Fortunately, there was no outbreak during their visit Since Guy is an animator, he seeks out other graphic artists whenever he visits a new country In this book and the other two I ve read, there are nice stories of him meeting cartoonists and sharing their work A particularly moving scene is when he travels to meet an elderly Burmese artist and reverently looks at the original pages of his comic published in 1970, which had inspired a generation of illustrators.Sadly, the political situation changes and the government makes it difficult for foreign nonprofit agencies to work there There is an interesting section where a Doctors Without Borders administrator explains to Guy why they are deciding to leave Burma Because the government won t allow them access to the remote Burmese citizens who need the most medical attention, and if they only operate in the capital city, then they re essentially propping up the regime Toward the end of their stay in Burma, Guy attends a meditation retreat at a temple and tries to focus his awareness After 42 hours of meditation in 3 days, I feel peaceful than ever before, but also very alert How long can this state of grace last It could be a hard landing. Knowledge Funny bits in the beginning, slowly moving into daily life in Burma Lots of insight on Burma culture and many cultural shocks from an obliterated country No idea how much of it really portrays Burma in true light But kudos to the author for being candid even about the controversial political topics.Feels like firsthand experience of an adventurous stay in Burma Will surely check out his other travelogues.Wish he visits India and writes this kind of a fun travelogue Being a Burmese myself, I am always than willing to lend my pair of ears to what the expatriates have to say about my country, Burma Of course, this book immediately caught my eye while I was browsing the French section at Kinokuniya Bookstore It turned out to be so entertaining and gripping that I managed to finish it right at the aisle there within like forty minutes or something, standing and flipping the pages and suppressing my little chuckles This little French graphic novel reads like a travelogue by the way by Guy Delisle who works as an administrator at Doctors Without Borders Myanmar accounts his day to day vignettes of life in Burma Myanmar with a toddler boy growing up who seems to have an immense interest in his surroundings the city of Yangon of course With cool illustrations, quirky and satirical humor targeting the military regime this book was published in 2010, prior to the release of the democracy beacon, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all the little annoying things such as frequent electricity black outs and even the hot weather of Yangon etc, Burma Chronicles is an amazing read which will delight you even though it s not about delightful pleasant stuffs as you will learn about the brutal and oppressive activities of the military regime A must read for any foreigner who s interested in Myanmar Burma both for visiting and working as he she can take away so many things about the country within a short amount of time from this little graphic novel gem Highly recommended. What I most love about this book is how political it WASN T DeLisle, considering the area he was living in, could have spent this entire book rightfully decrying a horrible and violent government, but instead choose to focus on daily life, the heat, the locals love for his cute baby, the rains, and a hundred other aspects of simple human life Politics, of course, inevitably come into the mix, but when they do I felt so grounded by the human establishment that the politics had actual impactrather than just a series of X and O movements And the simple art was charming Exactly the right amount of visual information for a chronicle of this type. Poignant and melancholic Penetrates the heart Good work Loved the illustrations.Recommended to graphic novel readers. So here s what sums up why this book failed to impress me Halfway through, Delisle is showing a western journalist illustrator around Burma Myanmar He points out how people carry their umbrellas stuffed into the back of their longyis or lungis as we call them in India and also sometimes hanging from the backs of their shirt collars which he calls weird I don t know man Walking through crowded chaotic streets makes sense you d want your hands free But because that s not how they do it back in Canafrancadapolis, it s weird A few pages later, Delisle and the other white guy are stuck under a tree in a rural area, stranded in the rains A villager comes running up to them twice, to bring an umbrella each for them He then invites them back to his house to warm up and eat something Someone who speaks English is found to interpret Delisle explains that a government worker also has to be present to report on their conversations In all this, Delilsle fails to note the selfless compassion shown by a man who at least once walked back to his home without an umbrella to help out two grown men who were incapable of making their way through the same rain In fact, looking at the drawings in Delisle s crude but moderately effective style , it is clear that their host never used an umbrella himself You know what s weird Delisle The fact that you take this incredible act of gallantry totally for granted that s fucking weird. This is an autobiographical account of the author s stay in Myanmar for 1 year in 2007, as his wife was stationed there while working as an administrator for Doctors Without Borders I ve also read Jerusalem and PyongYang by the same author, and they have the same great qualities and the same flaws Qualities well, first of all, I love the comic format as a medium It has the potential not always realized of course to convey meaning by packing a lot of information in a single panel or an image The author is very good at his trademark minimalistic sketches and I particularly enjoy the panels where he shows landscapes and architectures, rather than people I don t think he is very good at drawing people, actually Also, there is great informative value in seeing the Myanmar reality through the eyes of a westerner, with a focus on the visual aspects Very important to note that this book is a snapshot of 2006 2007, therefore many aspects of that reality have now changed in the country, especially with the establishment of the new government and the liberation of Aung San Suu Kyi go ahead, try to remember that name tomorrow she is their national hero who is currently in power 2018 as I write this Flaws mainly, the author s personality Yes I already knew him from his other works, but damn, the guy is so hard to like I completely understand that he is always trying to make a little joke here and a little joke there, to make the comic book engaging maybe, but these jokes are invariably full of sarcasm directed at the locals, and very often patronizing, the type of jokes that an immature teenager might crack when confronted with the same situations This shows that despite all of his traveling, he hasn t really been able to develop an open mind towards people of different cultures On the other hand, I noticed that like in other books he tries to smooth the edges of his wife s lefty leanings I found it revealing when he said that before leaving, he knew clearly that the corporations like Total were the BAD guys, and the ONG workers the good guys Then only once he met some Total employees he conceded that actually, they are not all bad Such a superficial worldview.
Born in Quebec, Canada, Guy Delisle studied animation at Sheridan College Delisle has worked for numerous animation studios around the world, including Cin Groupe in Montreal.Drawing from his experience at animation studios in China and North Korea, Delisle s graphic novels Shenzen and Pyongyang depict these two countries from a Westerner s perspective A third graphic novel, Chroniques Birmanes,
- 263 pages
- Chroniques birmanes
- Guy Delisle
- 05 June 2018 Guy Delisle