When most people try to lighten their grandmothers’ spirits, the effort often takes the form of Sunday afternoon phone calls and perhaps the occasional visit. Not so with Sacha Goldberger, however. After the French fashion and advertising photographer found out his nonagenarian grandmother was feeling blue, he came up with a rather adventurous solution for restoring her good cheer: spandex. He decided to enlist her to save the world, or at least depict her doing so on film.
Now, Sacha’s grandmother Frederika is known around the world as Mamika, a not-quite-retired superhero in the mold of Wonder Woman. In a series of photos that have been surfacing online since 2010, now collected in the book Mamika: My Mighty Little Grandmother, the diminutive heroine can be seen engaging in a wide variety of situations that a 90-something-year-old Avenger might find herself in. Mamika is always either making heroic feats out of everyday tasks (such as flying on the treadmill), or bringing some old-person flair to textbook superhero stuff. She also occasionally crashes into buildings.
Perhaps the bets part about Mamika is that Goldberger didn’t merely make his grandmother his model, he engaged her as a creative collaborator and co-conspirator. Together they came up with the ideas for her costumes, stunts, and superheroic setbacks. Reportedly, the project worked too, and Frederika was much happier after donning her cape. Have a look through more of the photos of her in action in the slide show above.