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Interview with Nahid Zamani, winner of the Arms Extinguishing Festival

Interview with Nahid Zamani, winner of the Arms Extinguishing Festival

Nahid Zamani is a cartoonist and illustrator born in June 1988 in Isfahan and graduated with a master's degree in business management. She started his professional activity in 2009 in the form of cooperation with the press and his works have been published in magazines such as: Iran, Arman Melli, Shargh, Jam Jam, Hamshahri, Be Qanun, Isfahan Emrooz, Isfahan Ziba and Isfahan Nimroz monthly magazines. Line, oscillation and Imena news agency have been published.

Holding a solo cartoon exhibition in 1398 at the Isfahan Artists' House and participating in several group cartoon exhibitions in countries such as Brazil, China, Turkey, Italy, Canada, Cuba, France, Poland and Korea are other activities of this artist.

Poster of Nahid Zamani solo cartoon exhibition at Isfahan Artists House

She has won brilliant awards in several foreign festivals, including: Winner of the Special Prize of the Peace for Fax Festival of Italy 2020, Winner of the Special Prize of the SICACO 2020 Festival of Korea 2020, Winner of the Special Prize of the 19th Clara Santa Humor Salon Festival of Cuba 2019, Winner of the Special Prize of the First Festival Award International Cartoonists Women France, winning the third prize of the 8th Tourhan Seljuk Cartoon Festival in Turkey in 2018, winner of the Medal of Honor of the International Cartoon Festival of Portugal 2017, winner of the special prize of the 33rd International Aydin Dogan Festival in Turkey in 2016 and selected for the 5th China Jiaxing Festival.

This cartoonist, in addition to winning ranks in prestigious international festivals, has also had a continuous and serious presence in domestic cartoon festivals. Zamani has won two first prizes and one second prize winner of the second prize of the Press Festival and representation of Isfahan news agencies, and has also won the second prize in the first national press cartoon festival in Tabriz in 2015.

The subject of most her cartoons is social harms, especially the problems of women and children, as well as environmental problems.

Nahid Zamani recently received the honorary plaque of the International Festival "The Application of Art and Culture in the Extinguishing of Weapons in Africa", which was held in Kenya. For this reason and also in order to get information about his recent activities, we have conducted an exclusive interview with her, which you can read:

First, tell us about the International Festival of the Application of Art and Culture in the Extinguishing of Weapons in Africa, for which your cartoon has won a plaque.

The festival was organized by the Iranian Embassy in Kenya. The secretary of the festival was Ali Asadi and the judges were well-known cartoonists such as Marilena Nardi, Angel Boligan and Massoud Ziaei. The festival was attended by 358 artists (320 male participants and 38 female participants) from 57 countries with 1,062 works, which shows the success of cartoonists in this festival, and finally great cartoonists such as "Cao Gomez" from Brazil and "Ares And Michael Guru Gomez of Cuba won the top prizes.

The work with which Nahid Zamani has won the honorary plaque of the International Festival of the Application of Art and Culture in the Extinguishing of African Weapons.

Children are always the most vulnerable in wars, and you have wanted to criticize such injuries in this regard. Children seem to have a special place and presence, especially in your illustrations. Here, in addition to addressing the issue of weapons of mass destruction, I think you have a special approach to this issue in the form of addressing the suffering of children of war, and you have portrayed children in peace in the last scene. Please explain about this and your attitude and how you pay to this issue.

In my view, children have a special value and place; Both because they are the most vulnerable and defenseless in any event or incident, and because childhood is a decisive and important period in the life of every human being. The foundation of a person's personality and outlook on life is laid in this period; What each event or concept looks like from a children's point of view, and what decisions that view can lead to in the future, is really fascinating to me. In fact, children are a symbol of the future in my work; A symbol that this story will continue and can not end.

To get to the subject of my cartoon at this festival, I thought to myself that in times of crisis, adults focus only on basic needs and visible wounds, and there is no opportunity to address deeper fears and spiritual wounds! Wounds that target most children. In such a situation, what would I do if I were a child at war? An easy but temporary but effective way like painting and covering the effects of war on a school wall with it.

This is your work, a cartoon based on a narrative in 3 scenes. How important is the story and narration for you and how did you deal with the subject in this cartoon based on the story?

The most important thing for me is to accompany the audience with the work, that the viewer not only flips by watching the cartoon, but also engages his emotions, and this happens best when the work is a good narrator. Sometimes, to get to the final shot, we have to make a Chinese introduction for the audience to help them put themselves in the place of the characters and then be surprised by the last frame at the right time. Sometimes it creates a sense of suspense that makes the audience even more excited in the last frame. Of course, in order for a cartoon to be a narrator, it does not have to be drawn in more than one scene; Sometimes you can have a solid and acceptable storytelling in just one frame and by bringing symbols.

In fact, in this cartoon, I asked a question describing the situation, what should be done now? A big and serious problem like a war-torn school and children who were wounded by the war in the ruins of the school! What should be done now? And finally, the answer is not hard and complicated at all, and this surprises the audience; A simple but beautiful and efficient answer.

Do you seem to have been more concerned with illustration in the last few months? It seems that books about your illustrations were supposed to be published, but Corona once prevented this. Were your books published? What about your recent work?

Yes, since the early 2021s my main focus has been on illustration. Unfortunately, in recent years, the situation of the press has deteriorated day by day, so much so that today perhaps one or two newspapers publish press cartoons; Unlike in the past, newspapers had a few pages of comics and cartoons, and comic and cartoon magazines were published regularly. At present, newspapers use foreign cartoons to control their expenses, or they have removed the cartoon column altogether, and the summary of press cartoons has become less and less dull than ever. Of course, this did not cause me to move away from the cartoon, but only made me a Carter bite.

From the illustrations of Nahid Zamani

Before starting Corona in 2019, I worked on a three-volume collection of children's books with a good publication of "Hopa", which was to be unveiled at the May 2020 Book Fair. Unfortunately, Corona disrupted all programs and caused other problems. Caused the publication of the book to be postponed until today. For the past 9 months, I have been illustrating 4 volumes of textbooks commissioned by Kheyli Sabz Publishing House, which have just been completed, and I am now focusing more on reading and practicing.

In cartoons, you are more present in mass movements, especially in the era of cartoons, and of course, sometimes cartoon publishing on your page. Please tell us about your concerns as a cartoonist and what is important to you in this area.

I think cartoonists are meticulous actors whose way of dealing with issues is in many ways sweeter and, of course, more effective for the audience! Sometimes it is possible to summarize the result of a few hours of conference in a cartoon in such a way that the effect is not erased from the mind of the audience for a long time. Each topic attracted and created a new path. The collective movements of the cartoon are the same, and perhaps more effective than any other collective movement. For example, a cartoon evening with the theme of "Shahraman" and for the first time all the participating cartoonists were women and addressed the issue of a safe city from the perspective of women. Not only was it very well received by the audience, but it was also very well received by the domestic and foreign media, and the works were very well seen.

An external site in the field of illustration and design also had a conversation with you recently. Please tell us a little bit about what happened in this interview and the issues that were raised in the conversation with you.

Early in the summer, I was contacted by Comics + BD Universes on LinkedIn and asked to have an interview with me. This site is a specialized design and interview-oriented site and interviews design artists in various mediums such as animation, games, book illustrations, cartoons and comic books, etc. around the world to narrate their growth and development in their own language. . What impact their personal lives have had on their work and outlook, what special experiences they have had, what suggestions they have for first-timers, and six other questions in this regard. I was proud that my name was included in this site along with the great and well-known artists in the world.

How much do you care about attending competitions and festivals?

My main concern is press cartoons, and as a teenager I became interested in cartoons after seeing press cartoons on the last page of newspapers, and I also see the press as the main source of cartoons.

The work of Nahid Zamani, winner of the third prize of the 8th Turhan Seljuk Cartoon Festival in Turkey

For me, festivals are more of a way to work internationally than to have a louder voice and to be able to voice my concerns to more people and be more effective. Of course, working internationally requires more focus, stronger techniques, and purer subjects, which are good drivers for learning more and staying up to date.

The work of Nahid Zamani, winner of the special prize of the Aydin Dogan Festival in Turkey in 2016

What is your career vision as a cartoonist and illustrator?

One of the fascinations of cartooning and illustration, or of art in general, is that it is not possible to consider a specific perspective for it. This world (the world of art and creativity) has no end and everything is possible in it, but with the constant effort and unceasing learning. My vision of the future is that She is learning and creating more than she does today.

In the end, if you have a special conversation, say so.

Finally, I have a question that has been on my mind for years; Where is the place of cartoon women in the country's cartoons? The world of cartoons, not only in Iran but in the whole world, is a masculine world ?! The statistics of the participants of the International Festival of "Extinction of Weapons" is a proof of this! 38 female cartoonists and 320 male cartoonists! Cartoon men who have certainly addressed the issue of equal rights for men and women in their cartoons, but in reality, and even in the small world of cartoonists, there is no news of this equality, and this is a cartoon in itself! Do critics of gender inequality themselves care about this equality? We have professional cartoonists in our country who are not only world-renowned but also invited to judge in the most prestigious international festivals such as "Aydin Dogan", but in domestic festivals (national or international) there is no news about female judges! If the female referee is to be chosen, they prefer to choose foreign female judges! While in other countries, most of the time, the presence of women in the composition of referees is taken care of, and compatriot referees, unlike Iran, always have a better chance to be present in the composition of referees. And finally, thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Hoping for more hopeful days. 

While congratulating you, Iran Cartoon wishes you good health and increasing success! 

The following are some of the cartoon works of Nahid Zamani:





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