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Hshuma. Women’s Bodies and Sexuality in Morocco (Hshouma. Corps et sexualité au Maroc)



Original Language: French | 128 pp. | September 2019

2 Seas Represents: World Excl French rights.


Hshuma means “shame” in Moroccan dialect. More precisely, the word is used to refer to taboo subjects that should not be spoken about in front of one’s family or in public. Both an artistic achievement and an educational initiative, this graphic novel’s goal is to chip away at the taboos around gender, sexual education, and violence against women.

The women drawn by Zainab Fasiki can be provocative femmes fatales, and even quite sarcastic. Whether naked, wearing lingerie or veiled, in town or at the hammam (Turkish baths), they poke fun at male hypocrisy and fear of women’s bodies, and flout imposed canons of beauty. The drawings are, therefore, a way of celebrating women’s bodies and beauty, and upsetting one of the pillars of patriarchal society – both in Morocco and in the western world. In addition to its visual beauty, Hshuma is an important book by an activist fighting for women’s liberation in the Arab world.

Zainab Fasiki was born in Fez (Morocco) in 1994. A mechanical engineer, she is also licensed as an illustrator and graphic novelist in Morocco. As an activist artist fighting for women’s rights and individual freedoms, Zainab runs comic-strip workshops at universities and non-profits, both in Morocco and elsewhere. She is also the founder of the /WOMEN POWER/ collective, which invites twenty aspiring female artists a month to participate in workshops helping to nurture the next generation of artists.

Strong points:

  • An author who is popular in the French media. Debates and an exhibit of her drawings will be organized at the time of publication.
  • As an illustrator, she already has a community of 50,000+ followers on social media.
  • An important book by an activist fighting for women’s liberation in the Arab world.
  • An author we intend to nurture, with a second book coming in 2020.
  • Our success with Emma’s books, which confirms Massot Éditions’s well-known knack for discovering upcoming young talents.