Waiting to Vanish

As their land disappears into the sea, villagers in the Bay of Bengal struggle to keep their livelihoods.


The Road to Germany: $2400

Each of the millions of Syrian refugees who have fled their brutalized, unrecognizable homeland did so for uniquely personal reasons—the regime bombarding cities, the Islamic State threatening a return to the dark ages, the loss of jobs in a crumbling economy. Yet their quests cohered around one purpose: They all wanted better lives. ¶ Some set out on a complicated journey to Europe with a crude graphic—a flowchart of the route from Turkey to Germany—as a guide. In its rudimentary geometry, refugees saw an accessible dream. In its illustrated stick figures, kicking their heels upon reaching the final destination, they saw themselves. They allowed an image, powerful and meditative in its simplicity, to shape their personal stories. ¶ FP has done the same. On the following pages, the odyssey of several refugees—men, women, and children—is presented in the form of a nonfiction comic. Each panel is based on firsthand reporting gathered by journalist Alia Malek: Captions describe real events, and speech bubbles show either direct (shaded in pink) or paraphrased quotes. ¶ Showing what happens when strangers are thrown together by adversity—how desperate alliances form and dissolve—it is a diary of an exodus from a war zone to a hopeful, if uncertain future in the West. ¶ How long the voyage to asylum would take, the refugees didn’t know; they prayed that they would survive it.


A Shot Across the Bow

“I have been studying the global shipping industry since 2000, observing its amazing growth both in cargo statistics and in the size of the ships. ...


A Tale of the Pure at Heart

In 2014, Lev Tahor arrived in Guatemala, the latest stop in a 20-year international journey. The ultra-conservative jewish sect cries that it is escaping religious persecution. But to those left behind—in Israel, New York, and Canada—the group is a dangerous cult ducking accusations of brainwashing, abuse, and child marriage

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    March 2015 Issue Cover