Making windows

My latest graphic novel – House Without Windows – documents the challenges facing children in one of the worst countries in the world to be a child: Central African Republic. Even before the resurgence of conflict in recent years, the country’s infrastructure had been crippled by decades of misrule, corruption and countless coups. So the smouldering conflict in the country continues to exacerbate this already dire situation where over half of the 2.3 million people affected are children – and, in a country where 40% of the population are under 15, the conflict will have a significant ripple effect on CAR’s future development. The comic captures the stories of kids orphaned and displaced by war, forcing many to work in diamond mines or to suspend their education, and causing many to become sick due to a lack of food and limited access to health services.

Essentially this comic – and particularly its adoption of immersive 360 video – is meant to cast a spotlight on this chronically under-reported country. A country few have heard of; a country that many cannot point to on a map. One aid worker likened the country to a “house without windows” – stating that without a lack of continued media coverage (or windows), how can things improve in the country? So here’s hoping this project can create a virtual window for a western audience through which they can finally observe the country and witness the challenges its children face. Watch the 360 video and stand alongside the children in the mines, IDP camps, hospitals and schools.

I was also grateful to the BBC World Service for their coverage of the project today – listen to a clip from the interview below.