Monday, October 27, 2008

Amnesty International Education Piece

Amnesty did a cool thing – they created a companion education piece for use in schools. Download it and pass it along!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The book launches today.

It’s hard to believe that I LIVE HERE is done. When I first met with Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge in a café in Vancouver, I told them this would be an easy project and would take seven months to finish – maximum. Seven years later, after what feels like a lifetime of experiences, I am so proud to announce that I Live Here is on the stands!

I can truly say that I put everything I have into this project, and so did my touchingly brave coauthors Michael, Paul, and J.B. MacKinnon. Many other artists and writers, too, showed almost unbelievable generosity and patience to make this happen. Joe Sacco was the first person to say yes to this book and he never gave up on this project.

I Live Here is about how we are connected to one another. The direction in which the world is heading.

Working on the book has changed how I see the world. We were allowed into the secret worlds of child soldiers, underage sex workers, orphans left behind by AIDS. The experience stripped away the fat from my life. Sometimes it left me cynical and raw, at other times, humbled. Sometimes I was very sad, but the one constant has been the inspiration I’ve taken from the people that we met along the way.

Here’s the thing: Now that we’ve started this work, it feels like we have just begun. There is so much we want to do. We have created the I Live Here Foundation (check out the main page of the site for the link) in order to give something back to the places we visited in our travels. Our first goal is to set up creative writing programs to help people tell this stories. Causecast has funded our first program, and this winter J.B. MacKinnon will return to Malawi to write with the boys in the Kachere Juvenile Prison. We will also continue the I Live Here book series and build the artistic dialogue between writers, artists, and people worldwide who are falling through the cracks of poverty, violence, globalization, famine, and dislocation.

We have our fingers crossed that you will want to help. In fact, we can’t move forward without you. So, if you’re into what we’ve done, buy the book and tell your friends. Explore the website and write to us with your thoughts.

Today, though, we just want to celebrate a crazy, difficult, amazingly rewarding seven years of effort. We made it through with pure love and passion.

We hope you enjoy our book.

With love,

Mia Kirshner

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The reviews so far, in brief.

“Beautiful. . . . Heartbreaking. . . . Extremely personal and intimate. . . . The stories, woven throughout the beautiful illustrations and the sometimes-disturbing photos, are a wake-up call to the atrocities that are occurring daily.” —Curve Magazine

“Creatively compiled. . . . Beautifully constructed. . . . We can’t all make the remarkable journeys Kirshner has, but with this book, she serves as our unexpected ambassador.” —Modern Tonic

“An ambitious project. . . . The vibrant, collage-like approach to the subject matter gives the material immediacy.” —Publishers Weekly

“Powerful. . . . A touching, gorgeously produced, and thoughtfully edited compilation of stories from the world’s trouble spots. . . . Combines reportage, photography, fiction, and comics to create a group portrait of the lives of refugees and displaced people worldwide.” —New York Magazine

“Gut-wrenching—and hauntingly beautiful.” —Glamour

“A visually stunning presentation of the lives of women and children surviving under the worst circumstances in Burma, Mexico, Russia and Malawi. . . . Powerful.” —Kirkus

“Compelling.” —Elle

“A vibrant, passionate look at lives affected by poverty, violence, and political repression. . . . [A] brave attempt to break beyond standard documentary approaches.” —Planet