Iranian Artists Depict the “Agony of Contemporary Iran” in New Book
Forty Cartoons and Commentaries Offer Glimpse from the Front Lines of Human Rights
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is proud to announce the publication of a groundbreaking new book at the crossroads of art and human rights: Sketches of Iran: A Glimpse from the Front Lines of Human Rights available now at Amazon.com. In this unprecedented collection of drawings, editorial cartoons, and portraits of human rights defenders, internationally acclaimed Iranian artists depict the pain and the resiliency of those in Iran who refuse to relinquish their rights.
Exquisite drawings, some in the unadorned clarity of black and white, others washed in visceral colors, sit side by side with searing commentary by leading Iranian writers, activists, journalists, lawyers, and family members of prisoners of conscience.
“These drawings depict defiance in the face of power. They are infused with a quiet determination. Their unflinching portrayal of suffering, as well as the occasional use of humor, resonates on an emotional level in a way no human rights report can,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Campaign.
Artists banned from work, writers silenced, students and lawyers imprisoned, journalists forced under torture to “confess”—these are some of the subjects that Sketches of Iran confronts head on, through visual images and personal narratives that give a rare glimpse into the front lines of the struggle for human rights in Iran.
Sketches of Iran has already received critical acclaim: “an unprecedented endeavor,” according to Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. Renowned artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat called it “a singular and crucial collection.” And leading Iran scholar Ervand Abrahamian described it as “A gem of a book revealing the agony of contemporary Iran.”
The forty cartoons featured in Sketches of Iran include works from seven Iranian artists. Among the writers are such iconic figures as Abdol-Karim Lahidji, Mehrangiz Kar, Mohsen Namjoo, Susan Taslimi, Hamid Dabashi, and Abbas Milani.
In December 2012, the Campaign ran a successful crowd-funding drive on Kickstarter.com to ensure that Sketches of Iran reached key people with the ability to influence policy and advance human rights in Iran—including UN officials, government officials, and diplomats throughout the world who work on Iran, as well as international media journalists who can publicize and raise awareness of human rights violations in Iran.
“There is a moral imperative that these images, and the facts on the ground they represent, be seen,” said Ghaemi.