In A House Without Windows by Didier Kassaï and Marc Ellison, a story about Bangui street children is told using a combination of illustrations, photographs, and (thanks to QR codes) even videos.

A House Without Windows is available at your local bookstore or public library beginning today, Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021. However, you can get your first look at the book now, right here at The Beat.

A House Without Windows

A House Without Windows

Kassaï is a cartoonist, illustrator, and watercolorist who was born in Sibut, Central African Republic, and Ellison is a photojournalist who lives in Glasglow, Scotland.

A House Without Windows is the latest book from the Humanoids Life Drawn imprint, which focuses on stories that are inspired by life on Earth.

Previous volumes from the imprint include the Alzheimer’s memoir Little Josephine by Valérie Villieu and artist Raphaël Sarfati and The Locker Room by Timothé le Boucher, which offers a glimpse in the microcosm of a boy’s middle school locker room.

You can read the press release about A House Without Windows in its entirety, included below the preview pages.

Available Now

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By the delicate hand of Didier Kassaï (Storm Over Bangui) comes a graphic documentary about the street children of Bangui, told in a style that mixes photos and illustrations.

In the Central African Republic, children grow up in a state of insecurity, poverty, and malnutrition. The land has become what many call “a house without windows.”

Through illustrations, photos, and videos (activated via QR codes), this comic takes readers into the heart of this “forgotten crisis.” Central African artist Didier Kassai and British photojournalist Marc Ellison guide readers through the harsh stories of Bangui’s children—slaving in diamond minds, housed in refugee camps—and showcase their inspirational courage in the face of unimaginable poverty.

Marc Ellison is currently based in Glasgow, Scotland, though this award-winning photojournalist’s favorite subject is Africa. Difficulties of reintegration of girl soldiers in Uganda, practices of female genital mutilation, topics on child marriage in Tanzania, sex workers facing the prevalence of AIDS in Mozambique, health challenges in Sudanese refugee camps, and the use of reality radio to help farmers in Mali are just some of the sensitive topics that Marc Ellison has focused on in his work with 60 Minutes, Al Jazeera, The BBC, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, The Toronto Star and Vice. A House Without Windows is his fourth work in comics journalism. Check out all of Marc’s works at and follow him on Twitter at @marceellison.

Illustrator, watercolourist and self-taught caricaturist, Didier Kassaï was born in 1974 in Sibut, Central African Republic. He is known for his humorous watercolors and his active involvement in the drawing of the Central African press from 1994 to 1997, notably in the biblical press of the Baptist Mid-Mission and in the satirical daily Le Perroquet. In 1998, he participated in several residencies and festivals in Africa, Europe or the United States. He is the co-author (with Olivier Bombasaro) of Gypépé the Pygmy and Adventures in Central Africa with the Editions Ivoiriens Classic, he has also signed with several collective albums, some of which are in France. In 2006, he won the Africa and Mediterraneo Prize in Bologna for his work: Azinda and The Forced Marriage as well as the “Vues d’Afrique” contest at the Angoulême Festival with Bangui la coquette. His first solo album, The Odyssey of Mongou was published in 2014 by Harmattan BD. The following year, he published Storm Over Bangui, published by La Boîte à Bulles (of which excerpts were previously published in La Revue dessiné), an album soon to be followed by Pousse-Pousse (L’Harmattan), which won the Best Project Award at the festival Algiers in 2009.