By signing up you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement. How do you feel about that? Even though its not easy for you, even if you dont understand it all. How much did this idea inform the writing of Persepolis? When I was 30 years old, I said, Im going to change this world, and after 10 years, the world was changing me. Yes, there are many things that are bad, but it is a reality and how do we deal with reality? You can draw anything and if you put a little color here and there, it will look nice. If you ban them from school because their family forces them to put on a veil, then you achieve the same result that their families wantedto not be educated and to marry a cousin from a small town somewhere. Good job! And they ask me all sorts of weird questions. In America, you might see bad behavior, and they respond, Oh, its such masculine behavior. You just think, Have you really never seen a nasty woman? EW: What?! But frankly, I have spoken to so many Iranians and there are really so many times where we speak the same languagemy mother tonguebut I dont understand them. Its most often a sad story of rape, abuse, drugs, et cetera. The more you forbid something, the more people want to see it. Who have decided that you cannot lead a life under the control of your father and then under the control of your husbanddecisions that didnt exist 20 years ago. So as this mentality and culture changes, then we can have real hope. Is there anything really absurd? Lets construct this world together. So it became a success, but I never imagined it. satrapi persepolis schooling novels ecu brittany comics graphic And man she does try doing it, not just that, she also starts selling drugs. Do you think women, and particularly Western women, have blind spots in ways that we are oppressed? In other countries, you have to have her naked. MS: Because, as in France, its a question of identity. Its everything. If I draw backgrounds, the same. And look at the female magazines, all the female magazines! I will try to be a better person. I dont always succeed in that because the nasty side of me is big, but I try .

I can never become angry with an old personits impossible. So whatever you draw has meaning that people read. Dont forget the story about Adam and Eve, where they were told do whatever you want, but dont eat the apple! . So I loved what you said about independent thinking. Another big success! With humanity, yes. This is itit exists across all religions. All the essentials: top fashion stories, editors picks, and celebrity style. They see images on TV and think, Oh, this is the way it is. . Of course not, I have written and created it all by myself. EW: I love what you were saying about teaching people to be independent thinkers, because often you get the message in school that you have to learn whats in your book by heart and be able to regurgitate it. So it is a result that is extremely exciting and, yes, surprising for me. Well, I dont think its a good idea because you make something that is actually a symbol of repression into a symbol of rebellion. These are things that I cannot change. Why is it increasing? And we are not victims. So I tried to understand and describe my experience, which was important because people know so little.

So there are so many different things that I like from different places. Is film where you see your future? Sometimes I am depressedin my pajamas and I put on sad music and start crying. EW: So therefore do you think that making art, interacting with culture, is the most revolutionary, the most impactful thing that you can do as a human being? First you have to have economic independence of women, and then we can talk about the freedom of women. EW: I have a question from an Iranian woman who is part of the book club, who wants to know what your hope is for the women and people of Iran and what you think is achievable? Thats how I then suddenly discovered cinema and was like, Whoa! That is just the basic right. MS: I think lots of things might be achievable because 70 percent of our students are women, which gives me hope. The story is that Eve had so much more guts, so she tried because she was curious, and Adam followed her like he was a sheep. There are the parts of my culture that are extremely traditional: Men have to do certain things and women have to be virgins and all of thatfuck that. On a historical scale its nothing, but in our lifetime its something. We cannot make the same mistake as men did with the gentlemens clubsto exclude them. That is how good we can be. It isnt, believe me. Are you sure this story content violates community guidelines? ? Any religion. They can no longer tell them Youre worth half of men, you know? It actually presented a really difficult challenge: How am I going to make it work in only black and white? And what if I dont want to have perfect skin, because Im 45 years old and of course I am aging? We have to give them police officers, we have to enable them to deal with their own things and give them retirement after the age of 50. She is being helped by her loving grandmother in packing her stuff, she also asks Marji never to forget her roots and remain the way she has been all this time. So I have only this one life to live. Was I less free in my mind? . So I had to create it from a very personal point of view, otherwise it would be this boring, anonymous person. EW: But I think women need to hear that, because growing up, I felt like I was educated a lot that I was going to be in for a shit deal, that being a woman was crap and that being a man would be much better. And I think thats awesome. If you dont use it, it shrinks, and if you use it, it grows. But she was a woman of the 1960s and 1970s, and she really didnt want me to learn those ideas. If I can be not too nasty a human being, then I think that is good.

Satrapi, who wrote in French, continued to probe the boundaries between the graphic novel and the memoir with Broderies (2003; Embroideries), which consists of stories told by Satrapis mother, grandmother, and other female relatives and friends about their experiences as women living in Iran. If this is too personal, please tell me to piss off, but Im interested in what you do when you feel disillusioned or run-down or tired of having to keep fighting. When did you know that you wanted to write your memoir as a graphic novel? I try to think about those peoplethe good people, who are actually the majority of people. Sometimes at film festivals, people will say, Oh, we have to vote for her because she is a woman. And I just think, Shes a human being who has made a film, so if her film is good well give her a prize.

While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. And in that way it was a big success! I want you to study and to be economically independent., Now, as a child I thought she was actually telling me: You are extremely ugly, you are never going to make it. The enemy of democracy isnt one person. In some countries, they try to cover women up. Again, bidding good bye to her family, the parting (as we all know, is always bitter sweet). If you were to start narrating it in sequence, you might get vague ideas, as to what happened when, you might not be able to clearly remember, exactly what happened. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. That says it cant use women for causes other than making children or sex. As soon as you know somebody from somewhere else, then it is much more difficult to just consider them as the enemy because the person becomes real. I have to tell you the funniest story. If women are educated, they will be economically independent and they will just accept less shit. . All the damage caused. That is the first step toward democracy. She clearly gives us her perspectives of looking at things, be it her country, the glorious past and beautiful present of Persia We can see it all. It began with the man coming home, sitting on his couch, reading his newspaper and enjoying the strip at the bottom of the page. So therefore a woman is badwe are bad. There is no media in the world that can create as much empathy as cinema, because when you read a book, you are always active; when you see a film, you are always passive. But the culture of our society is very much based on the religious culture. And now, time again flies by and this young teenager who was once a little girl has all grown up, again and turned into a pretty young lady. This was the most wonderful conversation.

We are very, very hard on ourselves, on one another, and, you know, its time to consider each other simply as human beings. Why do we have to always define ourselves by somebody else? The brain of a human being needs some time to digest and to understand. We have a long way to go, but I think that is our own decision. . So I am not on new media very muchI dont have Facebook, I dont have Twitter, I dont have any of that. To get the same degree of excitement here, Id have to go and rob a bank. I hope that I will meet lots of new people. Now, the basis of any religion, monotheistic religion, is that it was Adam and Eve, and God said, Dont eat the apple, and bad Eve said to Adam, Oh, lets go and eat the apple. And nobody just states the fact, Well, Adam could just tell her no. How can you disrespect prostitutes by telling them, Oh, your job is shit. Nobody becomes a prostitute because they think its fun. And if I want to say, I want to dedicate my life to my work, I am called an ambitious bitch! In religion. Its crazy. But you look around and you see a society that does not say that men and women are equal. That might be the case, but because of Facebook governments found people and were able to put them in jail, too. MS: The only person who stops you from being free is ourselves. . Its just a good beginning, I think. . Im also interested in how you self-identify. Satrapi created the illustrated childrens books Les Monstres naiment pas la lune (2001; Monsters Are Afraid of the Moon) and Le Soupir (2004; The Sigh). I end up falling down, all the way down the stairs, and I broke my head. She then goes to stay with Julie and her broad minded mother. EW: Are your comics available in Iran? Everybody needed to be punished. She also directed the English-language dark comedy The Voices (2014), which concerned a man who, having failed to take his medication, becomes a murderer. Full stop. Thats pretty crazy. So it is up to us. I have lots of hope for myself yet. EW: Someone once told me, as we were talking about, that depression was anger without enthusiasm. She is fond of hard rock music, American clothing, but her parents get scared after seeing her wearing one of the outfits. So I decided to take my time, to cool down and to understand what happened. And. I hate communities. As some people were ignorant about how it was, but so confident in their perception, meant I wanted to give them just another point of view. Its not an abstract notion anymore. In France, even after three generations, they call them the Arabs, yet when they go to the country of their parents, they are called the French. They are respected nowhere, so where and how do they find an identity? MS: Of course, all of us are somehow schizophrenic because of this double life, but at the same time everything was so exciting. Now, god has given her one more chance to re live her life, once again. I could not suddenly say, Oh, this is an analysis of what happened in the70s and the 80s and the 90s in Iran, because I am not a historian and Im not a politician. EW: That must be so hard because, on the one hand, its available to you, but on the other hand, you cant use it in publicits like this double life. I didnt think it was interesting at allit was just for me. I read a book, it changes my life. Do you think that we are quite judgmental about the cultures but dont really look into our own and miss things? This is it. You know, in some ways its seen as quite controversial and there are things that people are very offended by, butby godat the very least it has some humor. As with the family, where the father of the family decides and has the last word, so a dictator is the father of the nation. . But who cares about culture? And that is under my control if I decide it is. While in Vienna (Germany), Marji lives with her family friends, Zozo and her little daughter Shirin, but she cant possibly adjust to their lifestyle, so she plans of shifting to a boarding house, which is owned by nuns, there. But I think its possibly a question of generations as well. And then I wrote Persepolis.

Did I become a stupid person? Its the women. So I really think that cultural work is extremely, extremely important. The beautiful piece of work, has been published in four volumes 2000 and 2003, we can clearly see the world through her eyes. I love that Americans really want to be nice. Before, when I was younger, I would worry: Oh, my God! On one hand, I hate the veil because they force me to put it on my head and I hate it. Its okay to cry. The more my brain is stressed, the more I like it. It means that being born in a certain place doesnt have to mean coming to think a certain way, though this is still usually the case. She is cheated on by her boyfriend, and in misery, she starts to live on the streets. From the moment that prostitution exists, we have to have brothels so that we can protect these women instead of having a pimp take their money. In 2019 Satrapi helmed Radioactive, a biopic about Marie Curie.

What keeps you going? . I need to see and be with other people. And some feminist movements dont help because they lack so much humor. If I dont see people with my eyes, I cannot smell them, I cannot hear their voice, I cannot know them. I would simply say: I am a human being who tries to do things as she likes, and shes a very, very lucky person to be able to do that. So instead of going to school and being emancipated, she is 20 and she already has five kids. , Yes you say so, but where are the rest?. Now, just take a moment to think. MS: I have lived in a dictatorship. You know, I turned 30, and in all the interviews I was asked, Do you have a child?, Well, because I dont want to be anybodys mother.. EW: Yeah, thats good. Its a question of morality against a question of humanity. And I wrote a couple of pages and I was like: Fuck, Im exactly like them. She has used images in such a nice way to communicate her messages along with texts, is very good. So you let your emotions go.

We are not robots. I defend myself. MS: I went through a big depression! With all the pain, carrying inside her, she tries killing herself (but god had other plans for her). I love the humor of the British. It is a story that Western readers found at once familiara restive adolescent who loves Nike shoes and rock musicand foreignshe is stopped and threatened with arrest for wearing those shoes as she walks through a city damaged by bombing raids during the Iran-Iraq War (198088).

One hundred percent. The thinking seems to have been that because you go and throw bombs in Afghanistan and put in Coca-Cola machines that it suddenly becomes a democracy. Ad Choices. No, I didnt. Enjoy reading it. But there is a lot of bullshit too, huh? And thats a perfect ending. One week after it was released, we had it on tapes. You know, my hospitality will always be Iranian.

So instead of writing, Well I was sitting in my bed and I was watching out of the window and the bird was singing and so on, you just draw all of that. So I think its extremely important that we try to change our lives around ourselves. Usually when I paint, I use lots of color. EW: But I guess now, understanding the context and time in which she was telling you that, it seems extraordinary that she was giving you this message. We have to bring up our kids telling them, You are first and foremost human beings. Your gender matters only when you are in love and when you are with your lover, yes, your gender matters. But as a woman I have to justify myself all the time. I became a cynical person who did not believe in anything anymore. These are really the things that are great. . Corrections?

Nobody can stop us from being gorgeous, intelligent, thoughtful. They do a lot of nasty things, but their wish is to be nice people. That was the reality, but it is described as the fault of Eve. And that is exactly what is happening in the world that we live in. This is a humanistic approach. MS: I think that any religion is anti-feminist, to start with. She grew up in Tehrn, where she attended the Lyce Franais. Instead of banning things, you have to have a real dialogue, and if people really believe in something and they want to cover themselves, let them do it. I like to be alone, but not for too longso to work with others? If you believe in the slow evolution of culture? And then I look at myself crying in the mirror, so it makes me cry even more because Im so sad for myself. MS: If I had not had the four stitches in my head I would have never written it! And it is changing. That belongs to me. MS: There are parts of me that will always be Iranian.

EW: Whats the most ridiculous question that youve been asked about having come from Iran at the time you did? Im done. I mean, I have lived in a dictatorship. So I have a lot of hope, yes. Women. EW: And do you think it was just that sometimes you need to be pushed to the edge or . And do you know what happened? People who tell you I know. I dont know; I just know what I have lived. Its okay to be sad. what the fuck? Everything is available in Iran; its just a black market. Women are actually using half of their capacity or less; half of their talents or less; half of their brains or less; half of their work or less. This is without any feminist prejudiceits fact. And even Buddhism and Hinduism. Are people surprised that you, as a woman, wrote a comic book? And actually the most important thing I learned in school was how to think, how to decide for myself, how to have an opinion, how to go away and find the answers for things and compare and contrast different answers that people were giving me. There are many things I like very much in the French people: the sense of rebellion, the fact that they are never happy. EW: Why has it gone up?

. Its okay to be depressed.

In comics, with the illustration, you write with your drawing, with your images. So if women have the possibility of working for a living, they could actually manage to get a divorce. I can make decisions for myself here.

I talked to her about it when I was 28 and she, of course, told me I was very stupid to think like that.

. Any woman, any person, any human being who has respect for women also has to respect the prostitute.

It got to the point where I simply thought, I have to put it in a book, because while I like to talk, constantly repeating myself was so tiring. I walk and walk. Because I had so much pain there that my breath came back and I decided: Now you have to do something. Her family has to spend some time in a bomb shelter. No. Europe, more or less starts puzzling Marji, she possibly cannot digest that why teenagers (or children in general), cannot respect their parents, their children openly talk about s**. You can be a woman or a man, whatever you want to be. Anyway, Kendra, from my book club, wants to know: There are many different opinions about the hijab and Islam in regard to feminism; do you feel that either or both the hijab and Islam are anti-feminist?. I listen to music, it changes my life. This approach would mean we see these women as human beings and we need to protect them. My mother grew up in this place and she was very loved by her father and family. Because you know the little crease that I haveI really love it. If its to communicate with journalists, I do understand. Whats most inspiring you? What events would be more important to you? MS: Yes, it is! . MS: I just walk. Why do we think that if we dont have a boyfriend its the end of our world? In the end, this means that when these girls and women marry, they will be more educated than their own father, their own husband, their own brotherand then they cannot give them shit! In the studio, there was a man who actually told me to write them down. I always thought that comics were really work for monks, because it is obsessional workframe after frame. Today the thing is that the laws are much more anti-women.

MS: I walked the whole day and I tried not to think. Satrapi adapted her book as a film, also called Persepolis (2007), which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature. Ok, now let me ask you a few questions, if you were to describe your life, how would you do it? Thats really great. We are human beings. So maybe we can offer them another identity, by letting them study, letting them go to the school of the republic, and then they will have the chance to be emancipated. When someone says, Where are you from? or Are you French?where do you sit with all of those types of questions? But when I make a film there is always an actor who suddenly does something that was not expected, and Im extremely surprised. Im exactly like them and that is where they havesucceededto make me like them. The feminist movement for a long time has been there to cut the guys penis off. Women are still used. Can you buy them in Iran? Confirmation link sent to your email to add you to notification list for author Jeff Teague. I hope that I will have another two or three lives before I die, as I dont like to do the same thing all my life. I hear more and more that womengirlsare refusing to marry. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Cond Nast. Its just so fast that you have information, then you have new information, and then there is something else on Twitterit all means there is no time for reflection! MS: Yes, absolutely. Its very difficult work and right now that is what I like to do. So Uncle Anoosh tells your younger self in the book: Its important that you know. To trick counterfeiters, Benjamin Franklin deliberately misspelled Pennsylvania when printing official currency for the American colony. He said, Oh, you know Facebook enabled them to start the revolution and all of that. Then I might have the same degree of adrenaline coursing through me! At the end of the day, you know, if you have three kids, no education, no jobwhat do you do? Imagine if they put all the money they put into arms, weapons, and wars into something that says: Any person who is a student, who goes to school, needs to have traveled to one other country in the world before the age of 18. EW: Thats great. Shes quite freeing spirited and insightful, but, at this tender age, its a bit difficult for her also to understand, what is going around her. Whole new look, from head to toe, she goes shopping buying nearly a whole new wardrobe for herself, new hairdo, attitude, which speaks for it. I see lots of people who take photos, which they put everywhere. MS: I found myself saying the same bullshit over and over and facing so many prejudices. So that was the beginning of the comic book. After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, her familys Western way of life drew the attention of Iranian authorities, and by 1984 her parents had decided to send her to Austria to attend school. Or is it my female condition? Its an area where we plant rice, where the women work beside each other, bent over all day. And who asks me most of these questions? Christianity, Judaism, every religion. You have all sorts of people. And so I am basically a human being who works with what she likes and am a lucky person because of that, I guess. And therefore I have friends who come from all over the world. So was her, also. She gets her familys support at every step of her life (just like our families support us). We protect them. So the calculation was very easy because if I wanted to have peace and do whatever I wanted, I had to be good at school. That made me come out of my depression actually. The idea of, Oh, we are against prostitution .

I would really prefer change for good now, rather than having all this revolution where spilled blood just brings more spilled blood. Its a question of intelligence. You do not have an account with Catapult. I try. Believe me, the world would be a much better place.

For your book club, I do understand. With morality?

The people who are against the brothel are moralists. The doors of my house are always open. MS: For me, the cinema is a machine of creating empathy. . In Persepolis she used a stripped-down visual style that shows the influence of German Expressionism to tell the story of her childhood in Tehrn. You have given me new oomph and I really appreciate that. No, I wasnt. EW: A really good challenge. Certainly not. MS: When I was a teenager, I always had the latest music. But my question is that: Why is it that 30 years ago we didnt have many veiled women, and why do we have it today? But somebody who knows what hes doing is bad and does it anyway, that is ten times worse. And from everything Ive seen in the world, Ive realized its not a question of where you come from, its a question of intelligence. I need a new kind of feminism where we are brighter than the stupid men of a century ago and we teach them the lessons. So there is no division between genders.

I dont think you can change anything by either revolutions or the law.

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. You know, the other day I walked about 28 miles. And this is not a good thing. I also couldnt work at home, because if Im at home I just do the laundry, which seems to be an obsession! How am I going to lose 10 pounds before summertime? What if I dont want to lose 10 pounds? Satrapi was the only child of Westernized parents; her father was an engineer and her mother a clothing designer. I didnt think of myself as an obsessive person, but I discovered in this process that I actually am and it suited me for a long time. What kind of story would you like to write? I feel completely energized and empowered as a result of having spoken to you. They do get married but on the verge of not staying happy. For her latest Our Shared Shelf book club choice, Emma Watson chats with author Marjane Satrapi about her groundbreaking autobiographical graphic novel, Persepolis_._. Ignorant people I can forgive, because theyre ignorant. As soon as you start to talk about a nation, what is a nation? Can we go backward and start their lives again? And there are things that I want to do, there are things that I want to eat, there are laughs that I have not had. I know what I am talking about. So whatever you dont write, you draw and vice versa.

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