Saturday, February 03, 2018

A Dystopian Graphic Novel from Egypt

by Salman Hameed


Ganzeer is a graphic artist from Egypt. The picture above is one of the protest graffitis against the Egyptian military after the Egyptian Arab Spring of 2011. He later fled to the US and is busy with his brand of protest art. He has also been working on a graphic novel, The Solar Grid. Three chapters are available and he planning on finishing the book by 2019. Here is a trailer for the novel:

THE SOLAR GRID – a graphic novel (trailer 2) from ganzeer on Vimeo.

Slate has a nice article on Ganzeer and this novel:
Ganzeer’s graphic novel begins when night is eliminated forever on Earth. A network of satellites capable of farming the sun’s light and energy to redistribute it to the dark side of the Earth enables corporations to run their solar-powered factories around the clock, but it also causes insurmountable ecological disasters around the globe. Although it comes in the wake of the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, Ganzeer’s comic isn’t a shot at the young Trump administration but a criticism of corporate greed going back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Ganzeer explained that the idea for The Solar Grid originally came from a real ecological catastrophe in Egypt. The Aswan High Dam was created to harness the power of the Nile, but the ecosystem that had nourished animals, fish, and soil that for thousands of years was altered significantly, devastating Mediterranean fishing industries and displacing more than 100,000 locals. In his retelling, Ganzeer expanded the idea from the Nile to the Earth’s sun, and working from the idea that revolution sparking from the most unassuming characters was universal, he left up to two orphans, the main characters, to restore the natural order.
Read the full article here and also check out The Solar Grid.

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