MONTREAL - As the national rail blockade crisis continues, one Quebec artist’s explanation of the deep-rooted causes of the conflict is being widely shared on social media.
“Obsessed” by the protests happening across the country over the last few weeks, illustrator Chloé Germain-Thérien, a.k.a. Chloloula, shared a comic strip highlighting, in French, a few key points about the complicated relationship between Canada and its First Nations.
Her work became viral so quickly that she decided to translate the comic strip into English.
A self-described activist, Germain-Thérien wanted to add her voice to the debate, hoping to provide a bit more clarity “in all the hubbub.”
Her comic strips offer “a path towards understanding” why Indigenous protesters have been erecting blockades on railways in places like Kahnawake and Tyendinaga, in Quebec and Ontario. Germain-Thérien explains the conflict in the context of the history of colonialism and the escalation of tensions over the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline project on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.
Read Chloloula’s comic strip in the gallery below:
Germain-Thérien said she felt the need to dissect the current crisis because she wasn’t finding answers to all her questions in the media.
“The onus is very much put on the economic losses and shortages. And yes, there are important economic consequences to the blockades, but I think we aren’t looking at the whole picture,” she told HuffPost Québec.
“I wanted to connect the dots, to summarize it all.”
The illustrator, who has a background in documentary film-making, says comic strips are a great medium to narrate and explain complicated issues.
“In an era of instantaneity where everything needs to go fast, we don’t always want to read long articles. Comic strips are a great way to explain things at a glance and open a door to better understand an issue”, she says.
She hopes to tackle other societal issues in other strips.
“It’s a medium with a bright future.”
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