Female Role Models

Created for a series I established with a team of six illustrators highlighting female role models. The project aims to highlight grassroots inspiring woman from all around the world, by illustrating portraits based on submissions by the public. See https://brushandbow.com/ for more stories. Here is a selection of my contributions.

Dareen Tatour – Poetry is not a Crime

Illustrated by Hannah Kirmes-Daly
Dareen Tatour, is a Palestinian poet, currently facing up to 24 months in jail for a poem she published on her Facebook page. The hearing that will decide her fate was scheduled to take place on Sunday 24th June (this coming Sunday), however this week the court decided to postpone their decision by another month. She’s also a photographer, and an author, and has spent the last two and a half years under house arrest whilst waiting for the legal proceedings to come for an end. She was arrested in October 2015. She has already spent over three months in prison but continues to write poems and paint.
The things she loves most in the world are her cats (and she’s a vegetarian). She fired two male lawyers before deciding on her current lawyer (who is also Ahed Tamimi’s lawyer), Gabi Lasky- a strong female lawyer. Dareen dreams of freedom: from prison, from patriarchy and for Palestine.
Photo by Oren Ziv

When she saw this image, she said the smile spoke to her heart (in direct translation) She’s amazing!

Suna Alan – Hope Is Closer

Illustrated by Hannah Kirmes-Daly


Suna Alan: Musician, human rights activist, journalist, feminist. Her repertoire of folk songs spans a rich cultural heritage and includes Kurdish, Turkish, Greek and Armenian songs. She uses her music to raise awareness of Kurdish issues and give another side of the story beyond politics. As a journalist and an activist she has published stories of Yazidi Kurdish women abused by Daesh, and she has written a song to raise awareness of this issue through music.

Jess Phillips – Looking Upwards

Illustrated by Hannah Kirmes-Daly

*W*E*M*E*N* residency

In May 2018 I had the pleasure to go on a two week art residency looking at gender norms in the media and challenging stereotypes through comic strips with Nomadways.

We are surrounded by gender. It manifests itself as a pattern of relations that develop over time to define male and female, masculinity and femininity, simultaneously structuring and regulating people’s relation to society. Gender is embedded in our institutions, our actions, our beliefs, and our desires. It is rooted in the family, the neighbourhood, church, school, the media, walking down the street, eating in a restaurant, going to the restroom. Gender is asymmetrical. Whatever a person may feel about their current position on the social ladder, there is no question that male and female are not simply two equal sides of a coin. Inequality is built into gender at a very basic level, and what we experience as individuals emerges within a far-reaching social order that oppresses each of us. While the world is still obsessed with the continual differentiation of male and female, it is our job as activists, youth workers, scholars and artists to examine gender from a new perspective and research how this dichotomy came to be seen as common sense and contribute to our oppression. With our comics we wanted to look beyond the gender binary and try to reappropriate it.



شهيلي – Scirocco: A Case Against Deportations. Animation

Commissioned by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, in 2018 I directed and illustrated an animation highlighting the patterns of migration and deportation between Tunisia and Sicily,  focusing on the evidence that deportation is often inhumane and ultimately not a deterrent to migration. This project was created for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, in collaboration with Brush&Bow, and created in collaboration with David Suber, Leonard Ermel, Roshan de Stone and Loup Blaster.


The working process involved field research in Tunis, sketching the streets and scenes, and a year in the studio hand drawing every frame.