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Poetry graphic to remember the dead in the Mediterranean

“Could have killed 1,000 people in the Mediterranean”. This headline appeared in the press in 2015 and was the seed that sparked the indignation of the journali

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Poetry graphic to remember the dead in the Mediterranean

“Could have killed 1,000 people in the Mediterranean”. This headline appeared in the press in 2015 and was the seed that sparked the indignation of the journalist Javier Gallego. Outrage and a poem, which, together with his brother Juan Gallego, artist and doctor in Fine Arts, have become a comic, or a kind of genre hybrid which they called “poetry chart”. As if they had never been (Reservoir Books) shows the reality of immigrants who die in the Mediterranean sea in their attempt to reach Europe.

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“he called Me the attention that a headline of a news item would be that we don't have the news, because we can't verify if that actually happened. It made Me think that these people had disappeared from the world, his life is so insecure that his death does not exist”, explained the journalist and poet this Friday about how they came about the verses that were included in the poems, The cry in heaven (Rush, 2017). The idea of creating a comic was something that was always looming over the conversations of the two brothers. And then was the illustrator of the family who took the initiative with a project that defines you as your “grain of sand to try to talk about this issue through an unexpected route”.

“I Was waiting to the end of another script and as I was in the mood and he was always busy, as I said I'm going to start with this.” The original idea with which it departed Juan Gallego had only twelve pages, until his brother asked him to do a long narrative. “In a short story would have been as hushed, in fact, had caught just snippets. And the poem Kralbet has all the traffic from going from a coast to that...”, the journalist leaves in the air the phrase that reflects the outcome tragic suffering of the protagonists.

This is precisely is what is lacking the graphic novel, a protagonist. “It is a collective tragedy. It is the story of humanity, moving looking for a better life,” said Javier Gallego. In the face of danger of falling into the morbid, has highlighted that have tried to “display it in a forthright manner and direct”, but without the gloat, “and there is a certain poetry in the image as well”. John, for his part, has indicated that his greatest concern was to be respectful with this work: "it is Already sufficiently dramatic the whole issue. If it is true that there are harsh images but I have tried to be very respectful". And they are happy with the result. “The story breathes very well with the images, the tempo which has given John makes the word sink, it literally has more depth, like a breath that you do not own the poem," has commented the poet.

Illustration of 'As if they had never been'.

"What we had to do is restructure the order in certain parts, because he was messing around more freely or artistically, with the times, to establish a cohesive narrative from the visual point of view and that it had a narrative continuity. And this is delicate, because in a poem there is a lot of rhythm sound", has confessed to Juan Gallego. And in fact, the few discussions that have been had the brothers in this whole process have revolved around this, as has been pointed out funny Javier. And he continued: “there Has been some negotiation, but I am very happy because I think that the poem has been respected, and I also understand that there are that suit the story.”

This is a original project, “in the sense that it mixes the narrative of the graphic novel with the poem like a thread vertebral”, said the journalist. A genre that have been highlighted have not seen that has been done before, “has the power of the metaphor with the power of images”. And have highlighted the invisibility by this humanitarian crisis and the work they do and the NGO. “They put in evidence our governments to do what they should be doing, that is why there is a policy on the part of the power of persecution of the activism for human rights in the Mediterranean”. With this work in the hands, as from the beginning, although separately, they both felt uncomfortable about charging money for this project, so they decided to donate their profits, and part of the editorial, Doctors Without Borders. In total, three euros from the sale of each book will go to the organization.

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