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Shame! Bodies and Sexuality in Morocco

July 2024
More details
  • Publisher
    Clairview Books
  • Published
    9th July
  • ISBN 9781912992560
  • Language English
  • Pages 112 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9.25"
  • Images Illustrated Throughout

“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 the hypocritical masculinity that fears bodies and challenging one of the pillars on which patriarchal societies rest, whether in North Africa or in the West.

Part artistic project, part educational initiative, it is also playful and humorous. This graphic novel breaks down 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.

“Pairs the artist’s playful illustrations with discussions of sexuality, gender-based violence and censorship.”

— Time magazine

“Aims to break taboos in Morocco, in particular to change the way women and their bodies are perceived in society.”

— UN Women

“[Zainab Fasiki’s] book took her to a wider audience, in a country where sex education is also taboo.”

— Global Times

Zainab Fasiki

Zainab Fasiki was born in Fez, Morocco, 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 leads comic-strip workshops at universities and nonprofits in Morocco and internationally. She is founder of the /WOMEN POWER/ Collective, which invites female artists to participate in workshops to help nurture the next generation of artists. In 2018, Fasiki 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 in France.