Anthrow Circus

My Neighbors From Myanmar Taught Me to Receive

STORY BY HEATHER M. SURLS

PHOTOS BY HAWA IMAGES, USED BY PERMISSION OF WORLD RELIEF CHICAGOLAND

Years ago, a neighbor gave me a glossy 4×6-inch picture of Myanmar politician Aung San Suu Kyi backed by the red and yellow of the National League for Democracy’s flag. I no longer remember the giver’s identity—at that time my Burmese neighbors numbered in the hundreds—but since the country’s late-January military coup that imprisoned Suu Kyi and others, Myanmar (formerly Burma) has been on my mind.

When I reflect now, those three years among the Burmese were like bootcamp for me, a foundational, immersive course in relating to people different from me. At that time, I didn’t realize this would be a preparatory phase for longer-term work among refugees. I moved in with the idea that I would help them—I did not know how much my neighbors would shape me.

View From a Pandemic: Marking Time as the Bird Flies

TEXT AND IMAGES BY ELEANOR MARTINDALE

Today, I saw some storks. Three, to be exact, flying over the Western Mediterranean marshlands where I live, heading to their breeding grounds further north. Late January and a presage of spring already, accompanying the mimosa trees that have suddenly burst into flower as though a child has taken a pot of the brightest yellow paint she could find and splashed drops all over a wintery canvas. It was just as the spring migration was beginning last year that France entered its first lockdown.

MicroView From a Pandemic: Hungary

ENGLISH AND HUNGARIAN TEXT BY ZSOFIA GERLEI
PHOTOS BY ARMON MEANS

Just like most parts of the world, Hungary registered its first COVID-19 cases in March. Nine months ago, as I write this in December, which should feel like a long time but honestly it doesn’t. Maybe because looking back at it, it hasn’t brought much of a change for me.

The Plaza, Heart and Soul of My Valencia Life

STORY BY APRIL BARCALOW

I gave my heart and soul to Spain, but not just to the country—rather, I gave them to Valencia. The name itself swells something in me that to this day I cannot adequately define with words. Pronouncing it evokes a sort of ache, as though I’ve both held and lost this eastern swath of Spain. Like the undulating minor keys of flamenco music, the name Valencia calls out a history that was never really mine, and yet is so deeply a part of my childhood that I cannot separate myself from it.

The Argentine Surprise

TEXT BY JANE POTTHAST
PHOTOS BY ADELINE CAPARIN

I’ll be honest: It was Norway I’d begun dreaming of. My imagination was taken captive by images of fjords and pines, of iron and snow and bears, of iced sea light and a refreshing, starry cold. I was certain this was the next place beauty would greet me.

View From a Pandemic: Finding Life Among Gravestones

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MIKE PLUNKETT


I can’t tell you how many times Megan and I have nearly tripped over a tombstone during this pandemic.

As our corgi Bentley barks to get off-leash and run through the historic Union Cemetery, it’s easy to nearly twist an ankle on a broken headstone that I could have sworn wasn’t there, even though I’ve walked this spot what seems like hundreds of times.

Kimbé’s World

PHOTOS BY DARIN DUNN

Our photographs feature views from Beni, Bunia, and Niakunde, all located near DRC’s border with Uganda, offering real-life visuals of the context in which this fictional story takes place.

Georgia, a Country of Impressions

GEORGIAN TEXT BY NINO REVAZISHVILI
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY LIKA MAMASAXLISI
PHOTOS BY JOEL CARILLET AND LIKA MAMASAXLISI

We’re excited to expand our Sans Frontières series of stories with yet another script, Georgian script, that reminds us that the Latin alphabet and script are not the only way of reading and recording the world’s life. We hope you will enjoy this heartwarming introduction to the country of Georgia from one of her expats living abroad.