Cartooning in dislocation

Mirco Goepfert

Never before have so many people been simultaneously brutally cut off from their home communities and yet – through nourishing social ties and technology – been intimately connected with them. Many experience the global political present as a sphere of profound dislocation. This subproject explores these dislocations with cartoonists and through the practice of cartooning in the Iranian diaspora. Due to their activist stance and political opinions, many Iranian cartoonists have voluntarily or in-voluntarily (after imprisonment) gone into self-imposed exile. Cartoonists like Nikahang Kowsar and Touka Neyestani in Toronto, Nasrin Sheykhi in New York, and Shahrokh Heidari, Mana Neyestani and Kianoush Ramezani in Paris, despite their long exile from Iran, still count among the most famous cartoonists in Iran and the Iranian diaspora. They produce their cartoons and caricatures primarily for an Iranian audience via social media and online magazines, but they also engage in many other fields of journalistic and artistic expression. In their cartoons, they address issues related to domestic Iranian society and politics as well as their own position of dislocation.
To learn from Iranian cartoonists, caricaturists and possibly satirical authors in the diaspora, I will enter into close collaborations with them, but will also do interviews with publishers, gallery owners and organisers of art festivals with whom they interact. The research will join the actors and their works on their dislocated pathways of creation and publication through collaborative cartooning and caricaturing. The project will move in directions determined by the artists themselves and are thus hard to predict.