New comic “Priya’s Shakti”
A new comic about a rape survivor who becomes a “superhero” to fight sex crimes aims to spread the message of gender equality by targeting India’s tech-savvy teens with the help of an interactive app which brings its characters to life.
“Priya’s Shakti” is the first Indian comic book of its kind – not only confronting teenagers with the sensitive issue of sexual violence, but also engaging young people through its innovative use of augmented reality technology.
Inspired by ancient Hindu mythology, the comic tells the story of Priya, a young rural woman who is gang-raped and consequently shamed and shunned by her family and community. After praying to the Goddess Parvati, Priya gains the strength, or “shakti”, to stand up to those who persecute her, and flies around India on a tiger, helping other victims gain justice in a society where women are often blamed for the abuse they have undergone.
“We live in a culture which prevents women from pursuing justice and that’s what the comic book is about,” said U.S.-based film-maker Ram Devineni, one of the comic’s creators.
“Our main character, Priya, is a rape survivor who takes up the challenge of addressing sexual violence in India. Eventually it is up to her to find her ‘shakti’ and take it back to her community and motivate others to combat patriarchy.”