November 7, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
America really is a remarkable nation. We have a remarkable history – some good, some bad; some surprising, some all-too predictable – and likely a remarkable future (America’s impact will continue to be good, bad and everything in between). No matter what you think of America today, this country is undeniably admirable in what it has accomplished in a relatively short time – the power, influence, wealth; the innovation, the discovery and the achievements of Americans. It’s difficult for me to imagine America as a distinctly different place in terms of economic, political and social status in the world. I laugh at all the #firstworldproblem “tragedies” of this lavish, modern society, but I can’t imagine an America without them. It’s not impossible – we don’t need to look far (we don’t even need to look across national borders) to find that there are places on Earth that would long for “first-world problems” – places where every day is a struggle – places where life is surrounded by and permeated with uncertainty. A different America is the subject of today’s project (which I found timely given the present national focus on America’s collective future) – it’s something I regard as a very interesting thought experiment, and a great story. Check out Home of the Brave, a graphic novel about a fictional third-world America, and back it before November 10.
Home of the Brave begins with the story of Aria Monfort, a 13 year old girl who works 14 hour days, and just learned to read a year ago. She’s also the youngest person in her country to be accepted into a prestigious university, learns trigonometry during her lunch breaks, and may cure some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Aria was just sold into slavery in the poorest country in the world: America.