Priya, the superhero who fights sexual violence
Now THIS is a comic book that needs to go viral
There's a new superhero out to tackle sexual violence. Yes, we said sexual violence. This is the kind of comic we can really get behind.
Created in India, Priya's Shakti tells the story of a rape survivor, Priya, who is inspired by the Hindu goddess Parvati to speak about her ordeal as a way of awakening global action against gender-based violence.
The priyashakti.com website, where readers can download the comic for free, explains that it was a response to the horrific gang rape of student Jyoti Singh on a bus in New Delhi in 2012. Using mythology as a vehicle, the project seeks to highlight the violence that women continue to experience around the world.
"Hindu gods and their moral tales are integral to the Hindu majority in India," says a trailer for the comic. "We at Shakti provide a new narrative and voice in the mythological canon by placing the goddess Parvati and a mortal woman who is a rape survivor at the centre of the story."
Perhaps inspired by this larger-than-life mythology, Priya's Shakti is available not just as a 2D illustration but also in an augmented reality edition, which can be viewed on a free app. In this version, certain panels are animated with the voices of Indian women who are survivors of sexual assault, while video, images and other animated features bring elements of the story to life on the 'page'.
Otherworldly powers, gods standing up for human rights and justice, justice, justice – this is a comic book every girl, boy, man, woman, mortal and immortal needs to get behind.
Priya's Shakti is currently available in English, Hindi and Marathi but there are plans to translate it into other languages. Print and animated editions are available for free download for a range of digital readers.
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