Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Burma Chronicles

‘Burma Chronicles’ presents a personal and distinctively humorous glimpse into a political hotspot, putting a popular spin on current affairs.


The Book in English!


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    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Feb 12, 2014

    rated it
    it was ok

    Shelves:
    graphic-novel

    So here’s what sums up why this book failed to impress me:

    Halfway through, Delisle is showing a western journalist/illustrator around Burma/Myanmar. He points out how people carry their umbrellas stuffed into the back of their longyis (or lungis as we call them in India) and also sometimes hanging from the backs of their shirt collars – which he calls ‘weird’. I don’t know man. Walking through crowded chaotic streets – makes sense you’d want your hands free. But because that’s not how they do i

    Halfway through, Delisle is showing a western journalist/illustrator around Burma/Myanmar. He points out how people carry their umbrellas stuffed into the back of their longyis (or lungis as we call them in India) and also sometimes hanging from the backs of their shirt collars – which he calls ‘weird’. I don’t know man. Walking through crowded chaotic streets – makes sense you’d want your hands free. But because that’s not how they do it back in Canafrancadapolis, it’s ‘weird’.

    A few pages later, Delisle and the other white guy are stuck under a tree in a rural area, stranded in the rains. A villager comes running up to them twice, to bring an umbrella each for them. He then invites them back to his house to warm up and eat something. Someone who speaks English is found to interpret. Delisle explains that a government worker also has to be present to report on their conversations.

    In all this, Delilsle fails to note the selfless compassion shown by a man who at least once walked back to his home without an umbrella to help out two grown men who were incapable of making their way through the same rain. In fact, looking at the drawings (in Delisle’s crude but moderately effective style), it is clear that their host never used an umbrella himself.

    You know what’s ‘weird’ Delisle? The fact that you take this incredible act of gallantry totally for granted. that’s fucking weird.
    …more

    Brendon Schrodinger

    Burma Chronicles is an autobiographical account of a family who stayed in Burma for one year. The author is married to a worker for Doctors Without Borders and their family gets assigned to work in Burma for one year. While his wife makes trips into the less populated and underprivileged areas of the country, Guy is left back in the city with his very young son and too much time on his hands. He uses this time to do his cartooning, explore the city and get to know the culture a bit more.

    The book

    The book is fascinating because of the lack of message. Guy isn’t here to spout anti-Burmese government rhetoric, nor is he making a statement about colonialism, nor any other. It’s just simply his observations and a normal guy living in a foreign country saying “Hey look at this. This is weird/different/cool/worrying”. You can’t take from Guy’s observations whatever you want.

    And being about a country that many of us wouldn’t visit, Guy’s book gives us a unique insight into a country and people we only hear about vaguely in modern history books and sometimes in the news in reference to their government. The descriptions and drawings are very simple and minimal, but they did make me feel like I was there.

    Another fascinating aspect of the book looked at foreigners in the country and how they live. Guys situation and other non-profit organisations deal with a lot of red-tape and they are generally not that well off. But while he is in Burma he connects with other foreign people working for multinationals who live like kings. These people live in mini-estates with guards, and have their own clubs and compounds which are beautifully maintained. Guy is only human and loves being invited to these places, but being a stay at home dad and being invited to a play date with the wives of rich oil workers proves to be a bit awkward.

    I really enjoyed this work and I’m going to seek out his others. Apparently he and his wife spent time in North Korea. I’d recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the non-super hero graphic novel, and I’d encourage anyone who likes travelogues or finding out about different cultures to check it out.
    …more

    Trish

    Delisle manages to capture for us what a non-working foreigner not proficient in the local languages would perceive during his/her time in Rangoon. The heat. I’d always wondered about it. Delisle said his level of tolerance improved over the year he stayed there, so that he could stand up to 90degF before turning on the air conditioner, while when he’d arrived, 80degF was his limit.

    Delisle’s wife works as a physician for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International as a physician, and this time

    Delisle’s wife works as a physician for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International as a physician, and this time we learn a little about how the process of country-siting is chosen, what kind of conditions employees endure as condition of their employment, and a little about the different roles sister organizations have within the same country. One can actually use this as a window into the work of the organization as well as into the country.

    All of Delisle’s graphic memoirs are interesting. This one made me laugh when he showed a picture of a pen and ink drawn made during ‘the wet,’ or the rainy season. The lines were all running and blurred, as though it had been dunked in a barrel of water or as if one had spilled water onto it. The rest of the year is ‘the hot.’ What else is striking is at that time (2007-08), permits were required for foreigners to travel around the country, due to a great deal of internal unrest.

    Some of the physicians are stationed at remote outposts, and even though the organization is permitted to operate, getting permission to travel to and from those outposts is difficult and can be dangerous. But here the usefulness of having an artist making the trip is apparent. We envision the enormous ancient teak house in Mudan that is rented by MSF, and the local translation of a British village complete with fenced front gardens. You will remember Orwell was stationed in Burma between the world wars.

    Anyway, Delisle is not a political writer, nor a journalist, but he adds a heck of a lot to our understanding nonetheless. I’m now officially a big fan.
    …more