Title: The Enemy
Author: Davide Cali
Illustrator: Serge Bloch
Original Language: French
Publisher: Wilkins Farago
Themes: War, Peace, Propaganda, Amnesty International, Non-Violence, Sacrifice, Soldiers
THERE IS A WAR ON
There’s always a war on, and wherever there are wars there is propaganda, soldiers, death, missing family members, guns, bullets, misinformation… The politics of War demands that there is an enemy, and one way we deal with enemies is to demonise them, we say they are evil, uncultured, killers, heartless, monsters, that they hate us and deserve to be fought, even killed. Wherever there’s a war we hope that those in control know what they’re doing, that their commands are honest and necessary…
But when is war necessary? Why is War necessary?
In this book, we meet a soldier who is following orders, who is sitting in his hole, hiding from The Enemy, who is also in his hole, across the field waiting to kill him. Over time the soldier thinks about the enemy and what he’d been told, he contemplates his life, the stars at night, his family, his fears, he asks if The Enemy is under the same stars asking the same questions.
After time passes the fear increases, but so do the questions, what if the soldier comes while I’m sleeping, how will I protect myself, when will this war be over, surely if I were to offer peace The Enemy would kill me first, if I’m to survive I must be the one to kill him first! And off he goes to kill The Enemy, silently creeping to the others hole to end the war…
A very moving story, and one that asks us some very large questions about violence, war, our government and those we might call Enemy…
What if peace is only a message in a bottle away?
I can’t be the first one to stop the fighting,
Because he would kill me then.
He has to be the first to cease.
If so, I wouldn’t kill him.
Because I am a man.
If he looked up at the stars, he’d understand.
When you look at the stars, you understand a lot of things.
Published in association with Amnesty International Australia, part of the global movement defending human rights and dignity. Amnesty works to demand respect for human rights and protect people facing abuse. To do this, it mobilises people, campaigns, conducts research and raises money for its work. It promotes a culture where human rights are embraced, valued and protected.
Resources for using this book can be sourced from the Wilkins Farago website, the downloads include:
Cover Image (300 dpi tif)
Information Kit (PDF)
View Sample Pages (PDF)
View Teachers’ notes (PDF)
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