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Priya’s Mirror

Last year I reviewed the incredible free online graphic novel “Priya’s Shakti“. An empowering story about an Indian woman who, after being raped, becomes a hero, its creators have just released the second installment of Priya’s story: “Priya’s Mirror“.


With the blessing of goddess Parvarti and a tiger sidekick to boot, rape survivor Priya has been travelling India inspiring other women. While resting on her journey, Priya is approached by a man who asks for her help. The man is in love with a woman who has a beautiful voice but who is also the victim of an acid attack. She is trapped in a castle with other women scarred from acid attacks, and it is going to take Priya’s gumption with Parvarti’s help to break these women and their demonic captor free from their self-made prisons.

This graphic novel is so necessary. Drawing on elements of faith and fantasy, Priya tackles a social issue that is as much about reducing stigma as it is prevention. Acid attacks are a horrific example of gender violence and Priya’s story shows that part of the solution lies in empowering the women who are victims of these attacks and tacking back the self esteem the perpetrators tried to steal. In this beautiful illustrated and digital format where modern meets traditional, Priya’s stories are very appealing to a wide audience. The comic is free to download as well which makes it available to everyone, regardless of their socio-economic background.

If you have a spare 10 minutes, I would definitely recommend you read this comic. Stigma and shame are still rife when in comes to gender-based violence and fuel beliefs that women are somehow to blame. Stories like this one are essential to continuing the fight to empower women and to make our world a safer, better place.

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Priya’s Shakti

One of the many things that I adore about graphic novels is their diversity. After recently posting about a graphic novel set in the Ivory Coast, another incredible example of the medium is the phenomenal “Priya’s Shakti”. Even more incredible is the fact that this comic is available to read online for free, and you can check it out here.

“Priya’s Shakti” is an educational comic about sexual violence in India. When Priya, a young Indian woman, is raped by men from her village and then shunned by her family, the Hindu gods Shiva and goddess Parvati take notice. Shiva’s decision to punish mankind for their evil deeds divides the gods and starts a war, so Parvati decides to take a different approach to bring an end to gender-based violence. With the help of a goddess and a tiger guide, Priya becomes her own hero. This story is accompanied by beautiful and honest illustrations, and the fantasy/spiritual element makes it a great vessel for a story about morals.

I have nothing but respect for this project. The scourge of sexual violence in India is something that has captured the attention of the world. As outsiders, however, it is hard to know how best to help. As per usual, the solution lies in grassroots movements like these. “Priya’s Shakti” is the result of the efforts of a big team of 9 people, about half of whom are women and most of whom are of Indian heritage.

There’s not much more to say about this, really. Just click the link and see for yourself. This is an absolute must-read and must-share for anyone who is interested in graphic novels, gender politics, diversity and representation.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fantasy, Graphic Novels