Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi

Iranian-French comic and author of graphic novels, and director of animated films and writer of children’s books. She was raised in Teheran, where she attended a French Lyceum. A few years after the Iranian Revolution, which overthrown the Shah and handed over power to the Ayatollahs, Marjane’s parents sent her to Vienna to complete middle school. On her return to Teheran she studied Visual Communications at the Islamic University. In 1994 she travelled to Strasbourg to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. She worked with an artistic collective, which was made up of her university friends. Through them she became acquainted with the works of European and American masters of comics. In particular, Art Spiegelman, the author of Maus, had a special impact on her. Between 2000 and 2003 four volumes of her most famous graphic novel, Persepolis, were published in France. In 2007 an animated film based on the novel was made, which Marjane directed together with Vincent Paronnaud. She’s a laureate of a prestigious comic book contest, organized on the occasion of the After Persepolis was published the Iranian borders were sealed to Marjane. She cannot travel to her homeland, but she also cannot set herself free from it. She returns there through her comic stories. In Persepolis she presents fifteen years of Iranian history, from 1979 to 1994. We see this historical panorama through the eyes of the main character proxy for Marjane – at first a small girl, later a teenager, who is unable to find her way in either Iranian or European societies, and finally a young woman who looks critically on the world around her, striving to understand the mechanisms at work in it. Satrapi is not afraid to allow herself show the contradictions that are deeply rooted in Iranian life, she raises the hushed issue of violence, the hypocrisy of the authorities, societal schizophrenia, the frustration of women, and male chauvinism. She tries, however, not to demonise the problematic scenario, filling in her stories with many elements of humour. In addition to Persepolis, her works Chicken with Plums and Embroidery have been published in Polish editions. She was a guest of the Second Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival, at which Satrapi’s best-known work, Persepolis (with an introduction by the author) was presented, and a meeting entitled Embroidery took place, hosted by Grzegorz Jankowicz.