NEW BOOK COMING IN 2021:
We’re currently finalizing the English language edition of the first EL VIAJE collection! UPDATES @ THE PROJECT KICKSTARTER >>
The Most Costly Journey is a non-fiction comics anthology of stories told by migrant Latin American farmworkers working on dairy farms in Vermont, and drawn in collaboration with cartoonists from New England (& elsewhere). It is part of a graphic medicine and ethnographic cartooning initiative aimed at addressing the mental health care needs of migrant workers on Vermont dairy farms. The volume features 19 comics adapted from stories recorded from migrant workers that address topics including, loneliness, isolation, separation, depression, substance abuse and other topics. Many of these stories are difficult, even traumatic, showing the sacrifices and struggles of the people whose marginalized labor actually drives the US agricultural system. But they’re also joyful – celebrating survival, family, community, and the ability of each storyteller to direct their own healing narrative.
Foreword by poet Julia Alvarez / Preface by nurse Julia Doucet / Introduction by cartoonist Stephen R. Bissette / Afterword by Teresa Mares & Andy Kolovos.
“This rich and inspiring project is doing the work of oral history, narrative medicine, ethnography, and graphic medicine…” – M.K. Czerwiec (GraphicMedicine.org)
“These comics open a doorway to healing for these economic migrants — and bring their experiences to light for all Americans in search of compassionate solutions to our immigration crisis.” – Andrew Aydin (March)
El viaje mini-comics by Marek Bennett:
El viaje más caro (The Most Costly Journey):
An ethnographic cartooning project that employs collaborative storytelling as a tool to mitigate loneliness, isolation, and despair among Latin American migrant farm workers on Vermont dairy farms.
Project archive @ Vermont Folklife Center:
EL VIAJE @ PRI’s “The World” / 12 Feb. 2020
“Imagine becoming a character in your favorite comic book. For Latino residents in Addison County, Vermont, seeing their stories illustrated in print has been key to tackling some of the mental health challenges of migration. Soon, their stories will be available for readers across the United States. “
“Using chiles & comics to address the physical & emotional wellbeing of farmworkers in Vermont’s borderlands”
EL VIAJE @ the journal AGRICULTURE & HUMAN VALUES / 20 Jun. 2019
“This article employs a framework of structural violence and structural vulnerability to situate the lived experiences and health concerns of migrant farmworkers…”
EL VIAJE @ VT Humanities’ BEFORE YOUR TIME podcast / 6 Sep. 2019
“Many different groups of people, from many different continents, have helped build our state. But from the 19th century through 2019, the stories of immigrants have largely been excluded from the popular image of Vermont.“