From NPR, who shared this on Facebook, and KQED Arts, in partnership with NPR, this is the work of Brian Fies, who decided to document his family’s story of the North Bay fires in California, which went through many towns a few weeks ago. A comic art video, apparently it was viewed by more than a million viewers online.
It’s not your usual comic strip but it is another way to document history and a personal way to document tragedy or monumental events. It shows the damage done but also that never-ending lesson about stuff, the and emotions. The basic style of the illustrations put in a lot of character into the feelings of the event: what the people must have felt throughout the trauma, the scenery, as dangerous and tragic as it was, and the texture of the drawing materials, which let the scene come alive even if there are no moving illustrations.
The fires are part of the climate change routine on the US West coast, in the sense that they are becoming more aggressive by the year. They cover more geographic space year in, year out. Citizens are not happy. Local governments are worried. Scientists and ecologists are more worried than the formers. And I cannot remember the reaction of the current federal government but it must have been similar to the past reactions to traumatic events (the political protests in the South, Puerto Rico submerged by the hurricanes, and other such internal happenings).
If personal work from citizens like Mr. Fies can add to the literature and archives of detailed first-and-second hand accounts, to be used in a mass demand of “what?”, “why?” and, “how?” in order to get something done to avoid another crisis or natural disaster then yes, let’s do this. Natural disasters, though, as traumatic as they are, always teach us a lesson on what matters in our society: we and our families and the people around us, helping others in time of need, and the questioning of what constitutes a necessity in life.
Note: The video was found on NPR’s Facebook page. It is the work of Brian Fies come to life in a video footage worked on, in partnership between KQED Arts, NPR and Mr. Fies. Thank you.