Zainab Fasiki

Zainab Fasiki (Arabic: زينب فاسيكي‎, born July 21, 1994 in Fez, Morocco) is a Moroccan graphic artist, activist for women's rights and mechanical engineer by training.[1][2] She became internationally known after 2019, following her graphic novel Hshouma, corps et sexualité au Maroc which was translated from Moroccan Arabic into French, Spanish and Galician language.

Zainab Fasiki
زينب فاسيكي
Zainab Fasiki.jpg
Born (1994-07-21) July 21, 1994 (age 27)
Fez, Morocco
Occupationgraphic artist, activist
Years active2017–present
WebsiteZainab Fasiki on Facebook

Life and careerEdit

Born and raised in the city of Fez, she started drawing when she was four years old.[2] In 2014, she moved to Casablanca, where she has lived since. Fasiki joined the comic book collective Skefkef, and in 2017 published a first feminist comic strip, called Omor (Things), in which she explored the difficulties of a woman's life in Morocco. Through the characters of three young Moroccan women, she denounced the social inequalities between men and women.[3]

Her work, which she publishes on social media and as graphic novels, criticizes censorship, taboos and notions of shame in Morocco.[2][4][5][6] Apart from working freelance, she is also the founder of the collective group "Women Power" that sponsored twenty women to take part in workshops about women's rights.

Many of Fasiki's illustrations are self-portraits, often in the nude, inspired by women in the traditional Moroccan hammam or painted as comic characters like Wonder Woman.[7] One of her well-known images is a nude, all green figure of herself keeping watch over Casablanca. Entitled The Protector of Casablanca, she sees this figure as an attempt to fight against daily harassment on the street.[8] In her comics, the women sometimes do not have eyes, because she says that "I see women as statues in my society and I want them to be free human beings."[9] One of her comics was based on personal experience of harassment on public transport and called "Buses are made to transport people, not to rape girls."[10] She has also claimed that she has never felt free in Morocco or with her graphic art, where printers are reluctant to print her work.[7][11] She prefers to portray women undressed, as strong and unafraid, and tries to portray women's bodies in art and media without taboo. As with her comics about sexual education that she published in Skefkef magazine, she wants to counter violence against women and the patriarchal views of women as sexual objects.[12]

Hshouma and other graphic artworksEdit

Fasiki became internationally known for her 2018 collection of drawings, called the Hshouma project, where she depicted comic-style images of nude women, calling out against double standards and sexual taboos. Hshouma ("shame" in Moroccan Arabic) was first exhibited in 2018 in an exhibition following a workshop at the arts centre Matadero in Madrid, Spain,[11] and later published as a graphic novel in Moroccan Arabic, French, Spanish and other languages.[13]

In October 2018, she partnered with the UN Refugee Agency in Morocco to animate a story of four refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, including a woman who had been subjected to female genital mutilation. In November 2018, her work was exhibited at Le Cube art gallery in Rabat,[14] and in October 2019, she was named a TIME magazine "Next Generation Leader" for her comic book Hshouma.[8] In 2020, she illustrated the French book L'amour fait loi about sexual discrimination, with texts by Moroccan and French writers such as Abdellah Taïa, Leïla Slimani and others.[15]

Fasiki has named Egyptian feminist writer Nawal El Saadawi and French-Iranian graphic artist Marjane Satrapi as influences, and wants to counter Western narratives about women in the Middle East as "either hypersexual or repressed".[8]

Printed worksEdit

  • L'amour fait loi - Illustrations by Zainab Fasiki, Éditions Le Sélénite, 2020
  • Hshouma: Corps et Sexualité au Maroc. Arabic and French editions, Massot Éditions, 2019[16]
  • Feyrouz versus the World (2018)
  • Omor: Only between us (2017)[17]


  1. ^ "Art for promoting equality and fighting patriarchy in Morocco - Euro-Mediterranean Women's Foundation". 2018-05-10. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  2. ^ a b c "VIDEO: Feminism and Censorship in Arab Comic Books". Democracy Chronicles. 2018-04-19. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  3. ^ "Zainab Fasiki : l'illustratice marocaine qui parle de sexualité". L'Obs (in French). Retrieved 2021-08-20.
  4. ^ Achraf, Zineb (2018-07-17). "Vidéo. Avec "Hshouma Project", Zainab Fasiki tente de briser les tabous". H24info (in French). Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  5. ^ "New Morocco initiative to help gender equality through art". Middle East Monitor. 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  6. ^ "Au Maroc, Zainab Fasiki, bédéiste culottée". TV5MONDE (in French). 2017-11-06. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  7. ^ a b "Illustrator Zainab Fasiki Takes on Taboos and Patriarchy with Art - Inside Arabia". Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  8. ^ a b c Hincks, Joseph. "How This Moroccan Artist Is Using Comic Books to Fight Sexism". Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  9. ^ "Zainab Fasiki: "Disegno per liberare le donne marocchine"". (in Italian). 2018-10-08. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  10. ^ "Zainab Fasiki : l'illustratice marocaine qui parle de sexualité". L'Obs (in French). Retrieved 2021-08-20.
  11. ^ a b Ávalos, Almudena (2018-07-19). "Zainab Fasiki: cómo derrocar al patriarcado marroquí con un simple lápiz". S Moda EL PAÍS (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  12. ^ "Morocco Debates A Law to Protect Women, Passing It is Another Matter". Washington Post. 2017.
  13. ^ "Results for 'Hshouma' []". Retrieved 2021-08-20.
  14. ^ "Zainab Fasiki". Le Cube. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  15. ^ "Qui sommes-nous?". L'amour fait loi (in French). Retrieved 2021-08-20.
  16. ^ "La BD "Hshouma" de Zaïnab Fasiki sort bientôt". Al HuffPost Maghreb (in French). 2019-09-04. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  17. ^ "Zainab Fasiki, la féministe de la bande dessinée marocaine". HuffPost Maghreb (in French). 2017-02-19. Retrieved 2019-03-11.

External linksEdit