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Shame! Bodies and Sexuality In Morocco

Click for a large cover of HSHOUMA.

‘Pairs the artist’s playful illustrations with discussions of sexuality, gender-based violence and censorship.’ – TIME magazine

‘In my country, Morocco, it’s hshouma (shameful) to discuss certain subjects, notably sexuality and the body, and even more so to want to experience these things. To understand what we’re going through, I suggest that together we look at the reign of hshouma in its educational, religious and political dimensions. To break these taboos, I hereby testify to my life as a young Moroccan woman…’

The women Zainab Fasiki draws are compelling and real – whether naked, wearing the veil, in lingerie, in town or in the public baths. They celebrate the human form and its beauty, mocking a hypocritical masculinity that is afraid of bodies, and challenging one of the pillars on which patriarchal societies rest – whether in North Africa or in Western countries. Part artistic project, part educational initiative, but also playful and humorous, this graphic novel breaks down the taboos associated with sex education and gender identity and exposes everyday misogyny. Hshouma is an important book, and Fasiki is a powerful new voice of international feminism.

‘Aims to break taboos in Morocco, in particular to change the way women and their bodies are perceived in society.’ – UN WOMEN

‘Her book took her to a wider audience, in a country where sex education is also taboo.’ – Global Times

ZAINAB FASIKI was born in Fez in 1994. Trained as a mechanical engineer, she is licensed as an illustrator and graphic novelist in her native Morocco. As an artivist fighting for women’s rights and individual freedoms, Zainab runs comic-strip workshops at universities and non-profits, both in Morocco and around the world. She is the founder of the /WOMEN POWER/ Collective, which invites female artists to participate in workshops to help nurture the next generation of artists. In 2018 she won an Amnesty International award for women’s rights, and in 2019 she was featured as a Next Generation Leader in TIME magazine. In 2022 she won the Bravery prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.

Published in the UK by Clairview Books, 3 May 2024

£14.99; 112pp; 23.5 x 15.5 cm; paperback; ISBN 9781912992560