Two reviews ago I declared Sherman Alexie’s The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian a must read. So I fear readers might deem me as too generous is declaring The Photographer a must read so soon afterward. But alas, it’s a risk I will have to take.
The Photographer, in a unique collaboration between photographer, graphic artists and friends, chronicles the four month journey of Didier Lefevre’s first of eight trips to Afghanistan where he documented the work of Doctors Without Borders. It is an especially good introduction, not only to Afghan culture but to the causes of the ongoing conflicts. While Guibert never elevates Dr. Juliette Fournot, leader of the mission, nor her team to super-hero status you can’t learn of these missions without gaining a profound respect for their knowledge, skill and sacrifice.
Filling in the photographic holes with graphic art panels, Emmanuel Guibert and Lefevre effectively reveal the physical, emotional and intellectual demands of surviving in a beautiful, but dangerous country. Well worth the investment of an evening or two.