The following piece was commissioned as part of the Illustrated PEN‘s State of Emergency feature, intended to bring forward the voices and stories of communities whose concerns and lives may be most at risk under the new administration. Our hope is that the stories created for this series will help empower and inspire people to stand up and speak out and to begin to repair what’s been so thoroughly broken.


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.