Escaping Wars and Waves: Encounters with Syrian Refugees

Regular price $ 18.95

by Olivier Kugler

Graphic Mundi - Psu Press

12/5/2023, paperback

SKU: 9781637790632


From the front lines of the Syrian refugee crisis.

While on assignment between 2013 and 2017, often for Doctors Without Borders, Olivier Kugler interviewed and photographed Syrian refugees and their caregivers in camps, on the road, and in provisional housing in Iraqi Kurdistan, Greece, France, Switzerland, and England. Escaping Wars and Waves is the astonishing result of that record keeping--a graphic novel that brings to life the improvised living conditions of the refugees, along with the stories of how they survived.

Kugler captures the chaotic energy of the camps through movement-filled drawings that depict figures, locations, and seemingly random details that take on their own resonance. He gives precedence to the voices of the refugees by incorporating excerpts from his many interviews and portraits sketched from thousands of reference photos. What emerges is a complicated and intense narrative of loss, sadness, fear, and hope and an indelible impression of the refugees as individual humans with their own stories, rather than a faceless mass.

Escaping Wars and Waves is an unnervingly close and poignant look at the lives of those affected by the Syrian war and the volunteers who tend to them.


"Olivier Kugler is an extraordinarily skilled journalist and cartoonist who is taking comics journalism to a new level. These potent profiles from the migration front lines will leave an indelible impression on your brain and heart." -- Joe Sacco, author of Palestine

"Artistically masterful... Sketchbooks like Kugler's make readers feel as if they are sitting beside the artist--watching the refugees climb onto the beach of the Greek island of Kos after crossing the Aegean from Turkey, or smelling the tea sold by a vendor in an Iraqi refugee camp." -- New York Review of Books

About the Author:

Olivier Kugler is a reportage illustrator based in London and has won many awards, including a Victoria & Albert Museum Illustration Award in 2011 and a World Illustration Award in 2015. His reportage drawings have appeared in the GuardianHarper'sLe Monde diplomatiquePortXXI, and other publications.