Paying the Land - Joe Sacco
AUTHOR : Joe Sacco
GENRE : GRAPHIC NOVEL
QUICK TAKE: In Paying the Land, Joe Saco travels the frozen North to revel people struggling with the ambiguous wages of development and the incalculable toll of a pitless colonial legacy.
In his first full-length work of journalism in a decade, Joe Sacco brings his Comics mastery to a story of indigenous North America, resource extraction, and our debt to the natural world .
The Dene have lived in the vast Mackenzie river Valley since time immemorial, by their account. To the Dene, the land owns them, not the other way around is central to their livelihood and their very way of being. But the subarctic Canadian Northwest territories are also home to valuable natural resources, including oil, gas and diamonds. With mining came jobs and investment—but also road-building, pipelines and toxic waste, which scarred the landscape; and alcohol, drugs, and debt, which deformed a way of life.
Sacco recounts the shattering impact of a residential school system that aimed to remove the Indian from the child; the destructive process that drove the Dene from the Bush into settlements and turned them into wage labourers; the government land claims stacked against the Dene nation; and their uphill efforts to revive a wounded culture. Against a vast and gorgeous landscape that dwarfs all human scale, paying the land lends an ear to trappers and chiefs, activists and priests, telling a sweeping story about money and dependency, loss and culture, with stunning visual detail by one of the greatest Comics reporters alive.
'There is virtually no precedent for what he does...Sacco is legitimately unique'
- New York Review of Books
'Sacco is formidably talented. A meticulous reporter...and a gifted artist whose richly nuanced drawings tread a delicate path between cartoonishness and naturalism'
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