Marjane Satrapi returns agency to refugees through her stories and shows how the victims of humanitarian crises experience political struggle and how they cope with it.
Marjane grew up in a well-educated family in Tehran, her father was an engineer, and her mother was a fashion designer. There were a lot of books and friends in their house. The principle of freedom and independence of thought was her family's main ones. And when the Islamic Revolution took place in 1979, Iran began to transform, and the freedom of thought and speech was threatened. The experience of these events is reflected in her autobiographical graphic novel Persepolis. A real clash between Western and Eastern values: a Michael Jackson T-shirt over a hijab.
Soon Marjane left the country to study in Austria, but her thoughts were still occupied with the fate of her people. Her story does not fit into the classic narrative of the kind and unwavering Mary Sue. Instead, Persepolis is saturated with frustration, anger, struggle, and finally, forgiveness. Returning to her homeland at the age of 19, Marjane no longer finds the home she left. Iran has changed, and so has she. An Iranian woman in Europe and a European woman in Iran. The story of Marjane is the story of losing a home. The first loss of Iran after the revolution and the second loss of Iran after migrating. I think Marjane's story teaches us that for refugees, forced migration is not a narrative of finding a new home but a narrative of losing an old one.
Marjane is currently directing and illustrating in France. She left Iran, but Iran did not leave her thoughts and art. Her autobiographical graphic novel Persepolis was included in The Guardian's 100 best books of the 21st century, and its film adaptation was nominated to Oscar.
You can read more about the life of Marjane Satrapi on The Guardian;
A personal interview with Marjane Satrapi for Vogue can be read on the magazine’s website.
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