Sunday, August 2, 2015

Relating to the story (K.C)

I find the story of Persepolis as something that I can relate to in terms of a young girl finding her identity in a time of stress. I, too, tried to challenge what was expected of me being from a Catholic environment and sometimes would express myself beyond the degree to what I should. At that same time, I was realizing that not everything you see is the truth and that most don’t enjoy questions that challenged their selected truth. I now know as an adult that everyone has their own story; that many people can look at one thing and walk away each with their own perspective of a problem. However, as a child, I had this belief that there can only be one point of view that was the correct one.

I was raised to believe that the church provided all the answers and it was not until after that same church started treating my mother cruelly that I had distanced myself from that identity. While Marjane moved to France and was forced to overcome social and personal barriers, for me, it was simply a change of mind set. Learning to see the world without a comfort you were raised with (such as home for Marjane) felt reflective of what the graphic novel portrayed. The struggles were relatable and the reactions were human. While I could not relate to the character’s struggle, I was able to identify myself within the journey. The story is about growing up and I think that’s a tale that anyone can find themselves within. 

How I relate to the memoir (D.M)

I am Kurdish and I was born in Iraq but During that war Majane Satrapi went through my parents or should I say the part of kurdistan iran took it over just like Iraq, Turkish and Syria took over other parts of our lands. Anyways the part of the Kurdish people lived in Iran, they moved to Iraq from not getting bombed. When I was a little kids they explain it to me that they went through hell because they had to walk from Iran in Kermashan to Iraq in Ramadi during that war. I was still lived in Ramadi when the war started between Iraq and USA. It was disaster and some people were forced by the Iraqi army to fight back the US. I was too young to join in and most kids were throw up because of fear of losing any family member or dying. As for me I was about same age as Majane Satrapi and I got to say, I was not as strong as Majane Satrapi because I was just praying to god to save me from hell. Thank god, I was one of those lucky family that Canada accepted us to move to their land. Being in those kind of situation will effect your brain. Its either destroy you as person or you gain experience and to make you a strong person as Majane Satrapi did.   

I found that image on google but thats what they went through and they because of the war between Iran and Iraq. Still to this day my people goes through this problems because of the our enemies surrounding us. A lot of people died from starving and mostly were the babies.   

Action / Color (D.M)

Violence played a big roll in Marjane life and the amount of people getting killed on black Friday. she lived during the war between Iran and Iraq, also in Iran itself was already a war. The violence of the Islamic revolution had big impact on her but that made her a lot stronger. She became used to violence after losing so many people around her. Even when her family’s friends house got bombed and her seen one of the family dead body, that is tough to go through and She keep her head up high. Even though she was going through hell in her everyday life seen people getting tortured. If you do think about it a lot of kids during the war, they mentally change and most of them were terrify and it destroyed their life. Now a lots of kid in middle east going through nightmare everyday. Specially the kids in Syria over thousands kids dying every day and most who served became refuges. They are all paralyzed and their brain are damaged. They don’t mentally think or behave the same way they did, when they had their normal life. I don’t think that every one would stay strong as Satrapo did and I don’t think that she would be this strong, if she didn’t gone through these problems. The violence Islamic revolution changed her as person.

Color :

The drawing in the book is very simplified artwork. Satrapi draws in a minimalist style of black and white in a way to understand her world and to represent what her childhood was like. Also the black and white symbolize of  what the Islamic revolution done to Iran because before them everyone were happy living in peace until they came in and they destroy everything for the Iranian people.

Purpose (D.M)

The Author’s purpose for writing this novel is to show her point of view of what Iran is like rather then people going to get wrong image of it being a fundamentalists and terrorists country. Also in Persepolis book 2, you can see how she felt about herself being Iranian and That’s what inspired her most to write the graphic novel about her perspective of  what Iran is actually like and its group of terrorists who are destroying the country. She even admitted it when she had an interview from the channel calls the MovieWeb “I heard so many so many crazy thing about my Iran. People were saying thing and I was like, this is not like that and you know. that is the truth reality on TV channels and I don’t say it doesn’t exist and it does. But there is many other reality that we never see and that was really to say at least ill give you another point of view, the very personal one. just to engage my own person but this is it. that was the beginning of how I start it and of course, you know I wrote it five years after I left Iran, the second time”. 

The massage Marjane Satrapi want us as reader to take away from her graphic novel Persepolis is I believe that we are not going to mix the Iranian people with the Islamic revolution and Iran is not such a horrible country or that Iranian are all have mental anger issues problem. Speaking for myself; I do feel bad for what she gone throw and I am from middle east and I gone through the same. I was born in Iraq and I do get that type of feeling from people that middle east is full of violent and that they are at war all the time killing each other off. which is kind of true, depends on how you look at it but you can’t look at it just based on the images you see on TV.  At same time how can we not go crazy when young kids like Satrapi, the government tries to wash the kids brain and forcing to train all the young boys for war. Also not every family knew or educated their kids as much as Satrapi family did to help her out what the world is like. 

Here is the link of her interview from the movie web;

Outstanding scene (D.M)

Marjane Satrapi at young age was very brave and she stood up against the Islamic revolution. Even though she wanted revolution as well by imitating Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The reason to that is because the school corrupt the kids to believe in anything what they say. After when Marjane heard  about the Islamic revolution from her parents and her uncle. When she got a clear imagine of what the Islamic revolution represent of and what they trying to do, she was no longer the same little girl who believe in the false news she heard from her teachers. Later on she start making fun of them and she was against them. Back in those days, if you actually said anything against them, it was like asking for death. Just like ISIS how they go against the Islam to fulfill their ideology and propaganda, they force kids into their camp to train them for war and show them how to behead people at such a young age. What impressed me about her and how much she developed at young age knowing the clear imagines of her country and standing up against it and that made her a lot stronger. Also the last scene when the teachers were telling the students false news about the Islamic revolution and she had the guts to speak the truth against them just to protect her from the revolution, in cased she gets caught or killed.

In addition, when that shut the teachers and made all the students realize that they all have been corrupt because of the wrong imagines of Islamic revolution they present. In the very end, still at that young age and her parents want to send her away for her safety.  

Marjane and Me

As a Middle Eastern immigrant, an artist, and a political activist, it was very easy for me to connect with Marjane Satrapi. In fact, I think I would be hard pressed to find a character that I related to more. As I read the graphic novel, there were so many things that she discussed that I found myself recognizing from my own culture and seeing in myself and my own life.

Although I emigrated from Egypt at a very early age, my parents stayed involved in the Egyptian community, even to this day. For those unfamiliar with modern Egyptian culture, this blog is a great resource. My grandfather was a political activists, and was arrested and imprisoned in the mid 1900s for communist activity. Both my parents remain very current with the political proceedings of that country, who’s political regime is comparable to that of the Iran depicted in Persepolis. Growing up, politics was all we ever talked about, and even as a child I was very interested and invested in politics. I identified strongly with Marjane’s need for justice in the face of a corrupt political system.

Apart from the traditional aspects of this comic of age story which most people can identify with, I really connected with Marjane’s feelings of isolation, of being a foreigner among westerners, and then also among her own people. I grew up in a predominantly white town, and for years I felt the need to suppress my “non-Western-ness”. I never fully felt comfortable in this community, but neither did I feel comfortable in Egyptian communities I interacted with. There I felt like an outsider, to radical to be accepted. Over time I slowly learned how to feel comfortable with myself, but it was almost a relief to read about someone going through the same sort of thing. 

In reading Persepolis, I connected with Marjane’s story, I empathized with her (even on things I probably shouldn’t have). I felt a kinship, not just with the things I’ve already mentioned, but even things like her self-destructive tendencies, her desire to be accepted but her inability to compromise herself completely, and even with her pasta fixation. Overall, I really felt that Marjane was a girl after my own heart!


Marjane's Career (K.C)

Marjane published the books Persepolis 1 and Persepolis 2 between the years 2000-2001 in France. Together, the books were released under the title Persepolis: The Story of Childhood. The books were a success- brining about over two million copies sold worldwide and translated into twelve languages. Also, the novel won her the Angouleme Coup de Coeur Award at the Angouleme International Comics Festival. Perhaps it was the way that Marjane had portrayed conflict in such a difficult time or, perhaps, it was her charming portrayal of family and it’s intricate connections that allowed readers to fall in love with this work. Regardless, the memoir was seen as a huge success, even being so bold as to pave the way for other Middle East artists to pursue their storytelling in the same fashion. Lena Merhej, author of “I think we will be calmer in the next war” gave the following quotes for an article in the White Review,

“[Persepolis is] a voice for many artists who are from the Middle East, especially those who live in the diaspora and are experiencing this cultural conflict”

“[Satrapi is]a role model for empowering personal narratives of a Muslim living outside [her country] and exposed to different cultures”

Following the success of her graphic memoir, in 2007 Persepolis was created into a feature film. With her friend and co-direction, Vincent Paronnaud, they turned a form of art into a moving picture- an idea regarded by most that was regarded as a poor idea. However, it earned over 1, 400, 000 on its opening weekend in France and was even screened at the Cannes festival in 2007 and won the Jury Prize. 

Marjane accepting the Jury's award at Cannes for Persepolis

Aside from her most famous work, the artist has also released two other publications: Emroideries (graphic memoir, 2003) and Chicken with Plums (film, 2011). Both have been nominated for Angouleme album of the year with only Chicken with Plum succeeding in claiming the title as well as selected to be screened at multiple film festivals . 


Overall, Strapi’s works have been regarded as a success. She continues to pursue her passion of illustration while taking small directing roles on the side.