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Smoke

Antón Fortes & Joanna Concejo
21,00€ | 978-84-9871-139-4
40 pages | hardback | 24x30 cm |
October 2009

“I dream about a green dragon with a black tongue that wants to swallow me up. Houses are green too, like the grass in our garden with a swing, where dad and I used to play with the ball. I miss him a lot. Mam says we’ll soon be together again”. As much as the concentration camps -that imply hunger, cold, disease, violence and death-, here we are interested in a personal and family world destroyed by Nazism, being the only thing that has any colour compared to the striking grey and the silence. Separation, solitude and nostalgia are ever present; memories help to escape from the isolation and uprooting, giving way to -in the inhospitable camp (Lager) love, friendship and solidarity: in short to humanity. If all violence is unjustified, that which puts an end to innocence even more; against that, in the main character’s maturing process, we witness a commitment up to the point of becoming one with Vadío (the only character with a name and ethnic group), that represents recognition in the ‘other’ in the final catharsis. The anonymous main character in Smoke discovers the reality, filtering it through the memory of a better past. The awakening hurts and leads to learning quickly: the harshness and difficulty of the situation, and the survival instinct forces him to be a responsible boy. Innocence, more than impotence, marks the outcome. The innocent don’t survive, said Primo Levi; it’s the price to be paid for seeing the light: Vadio’s hand erases for good the fear writing a magic word in smoke across the Polish sky. A moving story by Antón Fortes with some intense images by the Polish illustrator Joanna Concejo, with great beauty and sensitivity, despite reflecting the reality of the main character, who becomes stronger while repeatedly facing up to the memories of where he was and where they were taken from. MENTION WHITE RAVEN 2009 Text by Antón Fortes Illustrations by Joanna Concejo Translation by Mark W. Heslop Part of the royalties of this collection go to NGO CREARTCREART www.creart.org.es

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