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What the voices of young people have in common is that they are often given little attention to their experiences of flight and violence — and when they are, the public tends to talk about rather than with them. Our graphic novels change that: 14 young people from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine share their personal experiences of war and displacement.

With Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the topic of war has recaptured the attention of Europe. Communities across the continent host refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons. Each of them has a story. And each of these stories is characterised by personal feelings, pain, loss, suffering, joy, hope, courage and strength.

Stories of flight from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine

Scene from the story “The first 100 days of the occupation” by Victoria Pievnieva

In “Scars of Strength”, 14 young people from five countries (Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine) describe their experiences of war, flight and displacement. All stories are true, the result of several workshops organized by Libereco, the Gustav Stresemann Institute in Lower Saxony, and East SOS in which the authors collaborated with experts in oral history and graphic novel design, to identify the focal points of their journeys and organize them into narrative form. Utmost care was paid to authenticity, with authors striving to overcome language and cultural barriers to recreate their perspectives at these key moments for the reader.

This book is the product of a project entitled “To tell Our Stories: Youth Memories on Refuge and Resilience”, which was funded by the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future, the Berliner Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, the Sanddorf-Stiftung and the Stiftung West-Östliche Begegnungen.

The graphic novel anthology has been published in both German and English and can be ordered at cost price from our online shop (shipping only to addresses in Germany!):