cover image We Are Many: Defending Women and Sex Worker Human Rights

We Are Many: Defending Women and Sex Worker Human Rights

Edited by Beldan Sezen and Adam Shapiro. Radix Media, $24.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-73771-847-5

This sometimes unpolished yet consistently enlightening anthology of nonfiction comics collected from Cypher Zine showcases global battles for women’s rights. Sezen and Shapiro’s selections often focus on cultures where sex work is one of the major occupations available to women. In Armenia, drop-in community spaces inspired by the intimacy of “coffee cup [fortune] reading” unite women and girls who “came to find a safe space” to discuss the “most difficult issues, prejudices and discrimination they faced” in a war-torn, patriarchal society; in Sudan, an activist is arrested for wearing pants; in Australia, the recent decriminalization of sex work has mixed results, and “the struggle for their work to be recognized as labor continues.” Each comic pairs a writer/activist with an artist, and the results run the gamut from amateurish to visually stunning. Standout pieces include a story about the Muslim feminist movement in Sri Lanka illustrated in glowing blocks of color, a manga-style portrait of Afghani human rights leader Liah Ghazanfar Jawad, and an interview with Brazilian musician and trans activist Rosa Luz, who raps, “If you try to kill my black sisters/ you just will be my next dinner.” Despite some unevenness, this vivid assemblage of the human faces fighting for women’s rights inspires. [em](Oct.) [/em]