23 Dicembre 2015 12:00

Contro censure e “fraintendimenti” aiutiamo a vivere le matite di “Samandal”

Lena Merhej, nota artista tedesco-libanese, visual storyteller e ricercatrice di graphic narratives multidisciplinare. Ha studiato a Beirut graphic design ed ha insegnato animazione, web design e illustrazione all’American University of Beirut. Cofondatrice di “Samandal”, rivista trilingue di fumetto (inglese, arabo e francese), nata nel 2007 da un collettivo di artisti libanesi e pubblicata a Beirut. E’ autrice di due albi a fumetti pluridecorati: “Another Year” e “Yogurt and Jam”. Apprezzatissima anche come illustratrice di libri per l’infanzia, come “I think we will be calmer in the next war” e lo stesso “Another Year”.

What is Samandal?

Samandal is a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the art of comics in Lebanon and the rest of the world. Based in Beirut, we have published comics anthologies and hosted comics-related events  since 2007.

In 2009 three of the four editors were charged by the Lebanese state with inciting sectarian strife, denigrating religion, publishing false news, and slander on account of “Christian personalities” taking offense to two panels from different comics in our 7th issue, titled “Revenge”.

The panels were taken out of context and misinterpreted through a narrow sectarian reading, yet after five years of litigation we lost our case and the following appeal, forcing us to pay 30 million Lebanese Liras in damages.


The Samandal NGO has buckled under the weight of these fines and our latest issue, “Geography”, looks to be our last. We are launching a crowdfunding campaign in a last ditch effort to help Samandal fight this unjust ruling and continue publishing comics.

Read our full official statement about the court case here.

You can also read more about this story in this article in The New Yorker.