Illustration From Amsterdam to Tehran 2013-2017

‘My Story is your story’

In my early university years in Tehran, I wrote and illustrated two books for children. Besides that, I illustrated my daily memories and feelings in my notebooks, which became a sketchpad in which everything happening around me was recorded bit by bit, stroke by stroke. In 2009, during the beginning of the Green Movement in Iran, I began to draw illustrations reflecting my political ideals, thoughts, and dreams. I drew them large, on posters, and took them to protests, and soon others began using my illustrations for many protests in different locations throughout the country. In the last 5 years, like any other young person from the middle-east, I have been taking part anonymously in many protests and socio-political campaigns. And yet, in the public eye, my drawings moved all over the world, the illustrations I had put myself into – even when my name often no longer appeared on them – being used in Egypt, Palestine, and many other places such as De Balie Amsterdam. I followed the path that my illustrations took in order to understand the dynamic of movements: to learn how these, seemingly disconnected or connected bodies appear and disappear in different formats of protests. Illustrating my political opinion with my personal handwriting and style is an individual act- however it participates in the collective action which shaped by millions of people. This practice, unifying the personal and public realm, extends to my understanding of international politics. To make ‘Your story, my story’.