July 25th, 2016
“The reality of human nature—none of us are totally good or pure evil. Even if we do make mistakes, it’s okay to forgive ourselves and accept it,” says Safya Baraka about the titular heroine of her new comic book, Lamis.
In a testament to Baraka and her husband’s Hamid Yehia’s bravery in the repressive Egypt, Lamis is a drug dealing super-heroine. In fact, the couple is publishing it online, since publishing a physical book is practically impossible in Egypt due to government censorship. Graphic art and satire are especially politically explosive.
Courting controversy is an easy way to get yourself exiled, or imprisoned by the El-Sisi dictatorship. But a short summary of the Lamis back-story indicates the creators are not afraid of controversy.
The first episode “Configuration” has just been released. The story opens as Lamis rescues a baby from a group of gangsters. “You must label me a good girl now… But don’t rush it; good and bad are labels that we call each other before believing them, while in reality, life doesn’t run that way. There are millions of shades of good and bad.” Lamis’ story touches on many themes that are pressing in Egyptian society: sexist, drugs, torture. Here’s what Safya Baraka had to say to the Daily News Egypt:
In most comic books around the world that feature superheroes, there were none that featured the personal details of the hero’s life. That includes the sufferings he must have gone through as an abnormal little kid, his personal problems, and his hopes and dreams. That’s what I mainly wanted to focus on while writing Lamis.
Not much is clear about where the plot will go but the trailer should give comic book fans something to be excited about. What’s not to like about a Egyptian drug dealing female super-heroine?
Watch the trailer below.