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SHINGAL (working title)

Tore Rørbæk
Mikkel Sommer

  • Original Title: SHINGAL
  • Publication date: November 2019
  • Publisher: FORLAENS
  • Country: DK
  • 102 print pages
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: Iraq
  • Themes: FAMILY, Mourning, PEOPLE facing life, Surpassing oneself, Looking back on one's life, Death, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Exile, Survival, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Discriminations, Violence, Fanaticism, War and other conflicts, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Commitment, CHARACTERS, Minorities

Pitch

Based on thorough field research and hundreds of interviews, SHINGAL is a fictionalized account of the largely misrepresented Yezidis Genocide of 2014.

Comments

Translation rights sold: sold in France, Germany and Sweden.

Pitched as reminiscent of the Golden Globe winner Waltz with Bashir

As a journalist, Tore Rørbæk has traveled around northern Iraq countless times. Here he spent the night with the local Yezidi families and collected their accounts of the 2014 genocide. In October 2017, the need to depict the events in a coherent manner caused Tore Rørbæk to invite illustrator Mikkel Sommer to Shingal. Here they lived with Asmail Hasso's family on their farm outside the city of Snuni. The farm is portrayed in SHINGAL, just as the book's character Asmail builds on the reality of Asmail Hasso.

Tore Rørbæk is a Danish journalist and documentary maker and since 2015 has been a Middle Eastern reporter for Kristligt Dagblad and Jyllands-Posten. He holds an MSc in Political Science.

Mikkel Sommer is a Danish illustrator. He has worked on several comics and children's books as well as animated films for Cartoon Network, among others. He has also made illustrations for The New York Times and The New Yorker.

Summary

The story of the Yezidis Genocide of 2014, in which the Islamic State tried to wipe out an entire religious minority.

August 2014: The Islamic State attacks the Yezidis, an ancient religious minority living in northern Iraq. Mazlum and Asmail are brothers struggling to save their family while fleeing along with tens of thousands of Yezidis to the top of Shingal Mountain. The Kurdish Peshmergas soldiers who were supposed to protect them have turned their back on them. And so did the Yezidis' Muslim neighbors. The mountain is their only escape. After the initial attack, over 50,000 Yezidis find themselves trapped atop the Shingal mountain under the setting sun, where they have neither access to water nor shade.

No journalists were present to document any of these crucial events. Representations of the genocide in the media have only displayed a one-sided view of the Yezidis as passive victims. However, the truth is that many Yezidis died fighting in the villages at the foot of the mountain, as well as on the mountain slopes to prevent the Islamic state to reach other Yezidis. With this graphic novel, these missing images are brought into existence.

Based on thorough field research and hundreds of interviews, SHINGAL is a fast-paced, gritty fictionalized account of a largely misrepresented, horrendous story. It sheds light on those tragic events and honors the Yezidi who gave their life for their people but have yet to be recognized by the media and public discourse.


English Translation available

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Tore Rørbæk is a Danish journalist and documentary maker and since 2015 has been a Middle Eastern reporter for Kristligt Dagblad and Jyllands-Posten. He holds an MSc in Political Science.

    Mikkel Sommer (born 1987) is a Danish illustrator. He has worked on several comics and children's books as well as animated films for Cartoon Network, among others. He has also made illustrations for The New York Times and The New Yorker.