‘Ama, the Breath of Women’, a Feminist and Family-Orientated Odyssey by Pen

Through the initiation story of a young city dweller, this graphic novel pays homage to the community of the ‘women of the sea’.

Japan in the late 1960s. Nagisa, a young, chaste Tokyoite, meets her aunt Isoé on Hegura Island to escape from her past and family dramas. Far from the frantic pace of life in the capital, the protagonist discovers her previously unknown roots thanks to the mistresses of Japan, the ama. Faithful to tradition, these women free-dive naked for abalone.

Published in May 2020, the graphic novel Ama, le souffle des femmes (‘Ama, the Breath of Women’) is written by Franck Manguin and illustrated by Cécile Becq. With its mesmerising, sometimes silent panels, the chronological narrative fuels a sense of melancholy. The decision to process colours in three shades with indigo blue being omnipresent creates a feeling of completeness. ‘Breathing is at once respiration, living force, courage, light. This graphic novel is a tribute to all women and to numerous facets of their condition’, the illustrator explained to Talpa Mag.

Read the full article on Pen.


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