It was the 16th of January. As every Friday, I collected my mail that contains also my copy of Internazionale, a famous Italian magazine that collects news from all over the world. That week, however, they printed out a story by Zerocalcare, an Italian cartoonist. The title was Kobane Calling and it was the reportage of Zerocalcare’s journey in Syria and Turkey, in the region called Rojava, indeed.
Forty pages of beautiful and well-drawn characters, a lot of humour and above all, a lot of sympathy
Zerocalcare comes from Rome, precisely from the Rebibbia neighbour, in the suburbs. He comes from the underground hardcore scene of Rome’s squats and in 2011 started publishing his books. He worked also with La Repubblica, one of the most important Italian newspapers, and with Internazionale, which publishes his comic strips every week.
The Italian cartoonist undertook a journey in the Middle East with the association Rojava Calling that tries to help the Kurdish population that fight against Isis. The reportage is a heart-breaking tale of courage, friendship and resistance. Zerocalcare, with his unique style and with his incredible sense of humour, gave us a personal report of what happens every day in Syria, and who the Kurdish resistance units really are. Forty pages of beautiful and well-drawn characters, a lot of humour and above all, a lot of sympathy.
Then, after this reportage, I discovered the book of Rojava Calling, called Kobane, diario di una resistenza (Kobane, diary of a resistance), with a preface by Zerocalcare and other useful information to understand the situation in Rojava. And last week, when I collected, as usual, my mail and my copy of Internazionale, the cover story was again drawn by Zerocalcare, who made another journey to Syria and met the official Nasrin, to whom the story is devoted – to her and to all the Kurds. This time the story is a reportage of one afternoon near Kobane this summer, when the cartoonist and his companions visited the Martyrs Cemetery and the old Roman ruins in the area.
Again, the story is a heart-breaking one, giving the feeling that we are safe and sound but someone is fighting also for us. We need to know what is actually happening in that area and who is really standing against Isis. In the middle of fightings and bombs, there is a population that really wants to create an equal and ecological society, and who today is a symbol of resistance.
To everyone who speaks Italian I absolutely recommend to buy a copy of Internazionale or of the book, and to read the story. Hoping that one day the reportage will be collected in one volume and translated in English.