Monday, March 15, 2010

Kiahan: A Tale of Migration

By Carrie MacKinnon
Calais Migrant Solidarity

Sometimes I read things that are uplifting and make me feel good about humanity, not often, but sometimes. This is not one of those times. Instead, this is a comic that makes me angry and frustrated with humanity and the life of privilege that I have just by being born a white English speaker.

This zine starts with comics telling the story of the title character, Kiahan. He was born in Afghanistan, but when his father is killed by the Taliban he and his brother flee the country and try to make their way to the UK. Is Kiahan a real person? It doesn’t really matter as the experiences described here are real. People spend all their money to be packed into trucks and smuggled into countries that don’t want them. They are placed in terrible living conditions and must fight not to be sent back to a country most people in the west would never want to visit, let alone live in.

Interspaced between the comic pages are text pieces that range from reports on the Calais shantytowns where Kiahan lived, to more general pieces of information on refugees, detention centre, and the No Borders group.

There are website addresses and contact information for a lot of different support groups involved with refugees, and if nothing else this zine reminded me about issues I care about and inspired me to try and do some good instead of sitting around reading comics all day.


  1. ooh - my first revew! I'm honoured Matthew.
    Just to say, Kiahan (changed name) does exist and I met him in the squalid conditions in Calais where he still exists - one of many children. The continuation of his story in the zine, tells of another boy who did make it over... The reason for making the zine was to tell it like it is and to raise money for migrants in Calais. If I may, I've added the link for anyone wanting to help with support in any way:

  2. Hey Carrie,
    I updated the post to include that link, and credit you for making the comic : )


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