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Profiled: Iranian artist Maya Neyestani jailed for children’s cartoon

The LA Times has an interesting profile on Iranian (now living in Paris) artist Mana Neyestani about his three month imprisonment for a cartoon for children as well as his views on the Charlie Hebdo attack.

The controversy that got Neyestani thrown in jail in Iran, however, was quite different (and far more subtle) than what happened in France. It was his use of the word “namana” in the children’s cartoon that started it all. The word is Azeri ? of the Azerbaijani minority in Iran ? yet it is commonly used by many Iranians in conversation. Neyestani’s depiction of a cockroach employing it, however, angered some Azeris, who took it as an insult.

Mana has published a graphic novel of his experience called An Iranian Metamorphosis. Looks interesting. Click the cover below to check it out on Amazon.

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