Iran Feature: Kafka in the Islamic Republic --- An Interview with Cartoonist Mana Neyestani (Shringarpure)
We often feature the commentary through images of Iranian political cartoonist Mana Neyestani, so we read with interest his interview with Bhakti Shringarpure. Speaking from Paris, where he now lives in exile with his wife Mansourieh, Neyestani talked about his recently-published graphic novel Une Métamorphose Iranienne (An Iranian Metamorphosis). The title is a reference to Franz Kafka's short story; however, it also alludes to the incident in 2006 when a cartoon by Neyestani led to riots and his arrest and detention.
Sometimes, the authorities just watch the scene; they have done their job to perfection ahead of time. It is not easy for me to overcome the red lines in my mind even right now when I am living in a free society.
Regarding the people who follow the orders, I am not sure if they are seeking the financial benefits or doing their religious duties, it could be a combination of both. In a tyranny, people are trained to be feared and to follow. It is a paranoid situation: fear, hate, distrust. You know, it reminds me of little fish near a big whale. They try to get shelter and feel safe moving alongside the big brother.