Following the City of Paris officially joining ICORN on 12 January 2011, their first ICORN guest writer, the reknowned and price winning Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani, arrived his new safe haven together with his wife mid February 2011.
Mana Neyestani was born in Tehran in 1973, he trained as an architect but began his career in 1990 as a cartoonist and illustrator for many cultural, literary, economic and political magazines. With the rise of Iranian reformist newspapers in 1999 he became an editorial cartoonist. In 2000 he published his first adult comic book, Kaaboos (Nightmare), the first in Iran to be published without government support. The hero of it, Mr. Ka, is also the main character in The Ghost House (2001) and Mr. Kas Love Puzzle (2004).
Sidelined as a political cartoonist, Neyestani was forced to do childrens cartoons. One of which in 2006 led to his imprisonment and flight from the country. Since 2007 he has lived in exile in Malaysia, doing cartoons for dissident Iranian websites worldwide. In the wake of the fraudulent election of 2009, his work has become an icon of defiance to the Iranian people. Neyestani has won numerous Iranian and international awards, most recently the 2010 CRNI Award for Courage.
Mana Neyestani arrived in Paris City of Refuge with his wife in mid February 2011. The municipality of Paris is the official ICORN host, partnered by among others Cite International des Arts, Paris Bibilotheques, Reporters Sans Frontiers and Maison des Journalistes.
See more of Mana Neyestanis work on his facebook page.