CBC Book for 2019-20: Threads: from the Refugee Crisis by Kate Evans

A Bookcover for ThreadsA heartbreaking, full-color graphic novel of the refugee drama

In the French port town of Calais, famous for its historic lace industry, a city within a city arose. This new town, known as the Jungle, was home to thousands of refugees, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, all hoping, somehow, to get to the UK. Into this squalid shantytown of shipping containers and tents, full of rats and trash and devoid of toilets and safety, the artist Kate Evans brought a sketchbook and an open mind. Combining the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling, Evans has produced this unforgettable book, filled with poignant images—by turns shocking, infuriating, wry, and heartbreaking.

Accompanying the story of Kate’s time spent among the refugees—the insights acquired and the lives recounted—is the harsh counterpoint of prejudice and scapegoating arising from the political right. Threads addresses one of the most pressing issues of modern times to make a compelling case, through intimate evidence, for the compassionate treatment of refugees and the free movement of peoples. Evans’s creativity and passion as an artist, activist, and mother shine through.

“It's impossible to read Threads without feeling an emotional response, from outrage to tenderness to deep frustration.”
– James Yeh, Vice

“Through Kate Evans’s firsthand report from the Calais Jungle we meet the refugees, get a vivid look at their living conditions, and witness the impressive resourcefulness of the volunteer operation that sprang up to help. Evans transforms the human ‘flood’ into shimmering droplets as she works and eats with the refugees, getting to know them as individuals, forging intimate connections while sketching their portraits. Evans both captures the wrenching reality of a seemingly intractable problem and makes an eloquent argument for its solution: open borders.”
– Alison Bechdel, author of Are You My Mother? and Fun Home

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Community Book Connection

Each year the college selects a book that it recommends to the community.

Students are urged to read the book and faculty members are encouraged to include it in their courses. A series of cultural and academic activities—film screenings, theatrical performances, dance and musical concerts, debates, panel discussions, and lectures—are organized to support the project

The goals of this interdisciplinary literacy program are to enhance student and community learning, to strengthen our common human bonds, and to demonstrate the vital connection between classroom learning and social issues in the broader community.