“Drawing Repression”: New Book Illustrates 52 Weeks of Human Rights in Iran
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran announced today the publication of a new book of editorial cartoons chronicling one year of human rights issues in Iran. Drawn by prominent Iranian cartoonist Touka Neyestani, Drawing Repression: A Year in Cartoons features 52 weekly cartoons highlighting human rights issues over the course of Persian Solar Year 1391 (Spring 2012 – Spring 2013), the last year of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency.
Beginning in April 2012, the Campaign has been featuring a weekly editorial cartoon drawing attention to the ongoing daily human rights violations in the country. Drawing Repression collects Neyestani’s responses to individuals, events, and developments over the course of one year, highlighting individual human rights abusers holding high office, prisoners of conscience continuing the struggle for basic rights, major events of the year—including earthquakes and cultural celebrations—and intensifying trends of violations against the Iranian people.
While the Campaign regularly reports on human rights violations in Iran in news pieces, reports, and other documents, Neyestani’s cartoons have provided a new method of not only recording the violations, but reaching new layers of society in communicating these profound truths regarding the human condition and the universal right to freedom and dignity. His cartoons, widely disseminated online in Persian- and English-language media, have provided an entry point for a newly interested, global audience to begin to deepen their understanding and knowledge of human rights in Iran.
The Campaign’s weekly cartoons form part of a broader approach to advocating for human rights issues, reaching different layers of Iranian society through cultural and artistic media that communicate on a universal level. Drawing Repression is the Campaign’s second book of cartoons; the first, Sketches of Iran: A Glimpse from the Front Lines of Human Rights, published in 2013, features 40 drawings, editorial cartoons, and portraits of human rights defenders by seven Iranian artists accompanied by 40 personal essays by leading Iranian writers, activists, journalists, lawyers, and family members of prisoners of conscience.
“Touka Neyestani’s skillful drawings show the stark realities of human rights in Iran in a visceral way,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Campaign. “These cartoons tell a different story about the last year of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency that absolutely must be seen.”