The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Mexico

La Nacionalien

(The Nationalien)

Bassi, Sandro (illus.)
[México]: Alboroto Ediciones, 2019. – [49] p.
ISBN 978-607-98231-3-9

Metropolis  | Suburban train  | Communication  | Isolation  | Dystopia  | Wordless book  | Picture book

Reading age: 8+

White Ravens issue: 2020


This is a book about life underground in a multi-lingual megalopolis. The crush is not only visible, but downright palpable. Meanwhile, a tense, threatening silence makes the air rustle. Not headless, but somehow faceless aliens populate the city, swarm on train platforms, crowd each other on packed underground trains while ceaselessly staring at their smartphones, as if fused with them. A telephone even dangles from a pram like an umbilical cord. The frames keep getting narrower, pulling observers closer and closer to the characters and sucking them into the denseness, mad rush, wordlessness, and lostness of this restless, highly technologized world. In his extravagant, energy-loaded black-and-white drawings, Sandro Bassi tells no linear story, portraying a state of being instead. “La Nacionalien” holds a dystopian mirror up to people living today and needs no words to do so. [JW]