#ShiftYourPerspective / Archives / Comics/Graphics / Contributors / Conversations With State Of Emergency / Images / Pt. 7 / Rachel McGill / This Moment

Conversations With ‘Identity’: On Pen America’s ‘State Of Emergency’ Series | This Moment

Rachel McGill Lv141Rogue | The Black Lion Journal | The Black Lion

by Rachel McGill

I am a long time lover of comics and more recently consumed by politics. I can’t stop reading the news, I’m on edge, I’ve ‘lost’ friends, family. But at the same time I haven’t felt this passionate about anything in a while.

On January 20th, 2017 the world changed in a big way when Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Writers, singers, scientists, citizens and artists have started a movement. Pen America, recently released a piece called State of Emergency. Here I try to unpack there meanings and bring some context to the text. There are 8 separate comics; I recommend all of them but this week, I am only reviewing 4. | View All Conversations

This Moment 'Identity' | Conversations With 'Identity': On Pen America's 'State Of Emergency' Series | This Moment | BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion

Identity by Iasmin Omar Ata

A WATERFALL OF COLOR cascades downward with the words “Identity” in center stage. The colors begin to curve, as two hands emerge. A figure, all white and androgynous, stands in a position of power as they break their bondages of colored rope — as a colored geometric fire bursts from bellow.

“My identity is my own power and is something you cannot destroy”

This Moment 'Identity' | Conversations With 'Identity': On Pen America's 'State Of Emergency' Series | This Moment | BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion

Right now, identity is being attacked in a lot of ways. You’ve heard of the bathroom bills, which regulates access to the bathroom for transgendered individuals. Let me repeat that. REGULATES ACCESS TO THE BATHROOM. An estimated 4.5 million people are victims of sex trafficking but what we should really focus on is where people do their business. To deny one’s identity is to deny a person’s needs. Identity is important to 4 out of 5 of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need. A person cannot feel safe if their identity is denied. A person is known to belong to something with an identity. A strong sense of identity leads to healthy self-esteem — and all of these lead to you becoming the absolute best person you can be.

About The Artist

Iasmin Omar Ata is a comics artist, game designer, and printmaker who creates art about coping with illness, thoughts on systematic oppression, and relationships with identity. They believe your heart knows things your mind isn’t aware of, and they strive (and encourage others) to channel that energy into art.

Artist Website


BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion | Christina Lydia

© 2017 Article by Rachel McGill Of Lvl41Rogue: Comic Books & News for TBL Journal | The Black Lion is a humble interdisciplinary journal that values your voice. Visit the submissions page to learn more about submitting to the Journal’s sections or to The Wire’s Dream Magazine. | Copyright Policy

Comic image from PEN America ‘Identity’. Artist bio from PEN America.


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