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Conflagrations. A century of children’s drawings of war, conflict and mass crimes (Déflagrations)

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Original Language: French | 256 pp. | September 2017

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, Nordic and English (USA & Canada) Rights.

Preface by Françoise Héritier

HISTORY | SOCIETY | NON-FICTION

This is one of the most exquisitely beautiful books I have seen in a long time, despite the harrowing subject matter. — Prof. Joanna Bourke, University of London

I have spent long hours reading Déflagrations, pacing the lands of battered childhood* that make you think of the “havoc in the garden of Beauty” that Rimbaud wrote about. Déflagrations is one of those books that you will not forget, a terrible book that teaches and forces you to open your eyes wide open and see. — Linda Lê

An unprecedented collection of children’s drawings charting a century of violence, from the First World War to the ongoing conflict in Syria. Drawings which evoke the true reality of war: massacres, machetes, bombs, blood, destruction and extraordinary terror.

Children in their millions have been exposed to the violence of war as witnesses and direct or ‘collateral’ victims, but also as forced protagonists. Never before have so many drawings (120) been brought together in a single collection, which spans an entire century of conflict.

Arranged by theme, the book includes contributions from historians, psychologists, lawyers and humanitarian workers, as well as responses from artists such as Enki Bilal and writers such as Gaël Faye to selected drawings.

The original inspiration behind the book was to break the taboo of silence surrounding violence and to give a voice to children caught up in war. 120 drawings are presented in themed alphabetical order based on keywords: home, rape, exodus, etc. Each section is prefaced by a short introduction. The conflicts referenced include: the First World War, Spanish Civil War and Second World War, the wars of decolonization, the Vietnam War, and the civil wars in Cambodia, Lebanon, Rwanda, and Syria. Four articles offer further insight into the specific fates suffered by children during armed conflict and the role played by their drawings.