Book advice – Persepolis

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 31 August 2008

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi Biography Satrapi grew up in Tehran in a communist family which was involved with the communist and socialist movements in Iran, prior to the Iranian Revolution. She attended the Lycée Français there and witnessed, as a child, the growing suppression of civil liberties and the everyday-life consequences of Iranian politics, including the fall of the Shah, the early regime of Ruhollah Khomeini, and the first years of the Iran-Iraq war.  Marjane Satrapi self portrait Satrapi is a great-granddaughter of Nasser al-Din Shah, Shah of Persia from 1848 until 1896. However, Satrapi points out that “the kings of the Qajar dynasty…had hundreds of wives. They made thousands of kids. If you multiply these kids by generation you have, I don’t know, ten to fifteen thousand princes and princesses. There’s nothing extremely special about that.” In 1983, at the age of 14, Satrapi was sent to Vienna, Austria, by her parents in order to flee the Iranian regime. According to her autobiographical graphic novel, Persepolis, she lived there during her high school years, returning to Iran for college. At college, she met a man named Reza, whom she married at age 21 and divorced roughly three years later. She then studied Visual Communication, eventually obtaining a Master’s Degree in Visual Communication from the School of Fine Arts in Tehran Islamic Azad University.

Satrapi then moved to Strasbourg, France. She currently lives in Paris, where she works as an illustrator and an author of children’s books. Satrapi’s career began in earnest when she met David B., a French comics artist. She adopted a style similar to his, especially in her earliest works. Satrapi became famous worldwide because of her critically acclaimed autobiographical graphic novels Persepolis and Persepolis 2, which describe her childhood in Iran and her adolescence in Europe. Persepolis won the Angoulême Coup de Coeur Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. Her later publication, Broderies (Embroideries) was also nominated for the Angoulême Album of the Year award in 2003, an award which was won by her most recent novel, Poulet aux prunes.She has also contributed to the Op-Ed section of The New York Times.



official persepolis website: http://www.sonyclassics.com/persepolis/ (taken from wikipedia website to Marjane Satrapi and Persepolis)

www.teachingaboutreligion.com The site offers educational information in the form of a worldview sampler, background information on a broad range of critical concepts (e.g. religious liberty, teaching about religion and the nonreligious worldview, civic responsibilities), links to teaching materials such as free lesson plans, links to other sites, position statements, historical information and source material, and resources of additional interest to public school educators, especially in the areas of social science and history. The lessons focus on the necessity for religious neutrality in public schools and offer the teacher guidance on creating within the classroom a “level playing field” for learners inclusive of disparate worldviews and a “civic climate” that is respectful of the freedom of conscience of all the youngsters. To provide academic information and teaching materials related to teaching about religion in public schools in support of: an educational commitment to pluralism, 2. acknowledgment that public schools are for students of all worldviews, whether religious or nonreligious, and 3. the professional understanding that public school teachers need to exercise a scrupulous neutrality regarding religion.


Mission and Purpose

It is important that youngsters understand that religious liberty is not only for them and for those who think or believe like them, but also for fellow citizens who have different understandings. Within civil law, everyone has religious freedom. It must be guarded even for those whose thinking and traditions are unconventional or unfamiliar. We look to our schools to foster in students an attitude that is respectful of a citizen’s right to liberty of conscience. Specifically, a teacher who is teaching about religion can use site material to better: 1. Encourage students toward open-minded and objective consideration of

  – the diverse worldviews they may study in history, and
  – the varied forms of “different believing” that they may encounter in their own life and times

2. Help students to appreciate those aspects of our American heritage that safeguard individual freedom of conscience.

More about worldviews

A worldview, whether religious or nonreligious, is personal insight about reality and meaning, often termed a “life understanding.” Each of us has a worldview. It is our own discernment. It develops in part because we have sought some understanding of our own significance. Human beings everywhere are desirous of certitude by which to live their lives. There are what appear to be universal queries for understanding of important aspects of life and living. An individual’s worldview makes reply to these universal human queries.

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