Iranian artists honored at Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava 

October 17, 2021 - 18:36

TEHRAN – The Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB) in Czech has honored Iranian artists Ghazal Fathollahi and Mohammad Barrangi Fashtami with BIB Plaques.

Fathollahi received the honor for his illustrations for “You Are an Explorer” (also translated as “We Are Explorers”).

The book written by Shahrzad Shahrjerdi has also been published by La Maleta, a publisher in the autonomous community of Asturias in northwest Spain.

The book shows fraternity, imagination, collaboration and self-improvement against the pain of war. This book, through the love between two brothers and their imagination, leads us to reflect on the hardships suffered by some people as a result of conflicts in their countries of origin that force them to leave their homes in search of something better.

Barrangi was honored for his illustrations in “Simorgh, a Story from Attar Neyshaburi’s Mantiq at-Tayr” streamlined by Marjan Fuladvand for children and young adults.

Simorgh (Phoenix), a bird in Iranian mythology and literature, plays a significant role in some Persian classics, such as the Shahnameh (Book of Kings) by Ferdowsi and the Mantiq at-Tayr (The Conference of the Birds). 

In Attar’s parable-like poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their sovereign. The hoopoe, the wisest of them all, suggests that they should find the legendary Simorgh. At the end of the long journey, only thirty birds remain. They realize that they themselves are the ruler they seek. 

The young and talented London-based Iranian illustrator Barrangi uses his feet and toes to paint instead of his disabled hand. That’s why his pictures have their own unique look. In his artwork, he combines elements of Persian calligraphy, Eastern stories and imagery, and classical Western painting.

A jury of nine members, including Brenda Dales from the U.S., Victoria Fomina from Russia and Renata Fucikova from Czech, also honored Mamiko Shiotani from Japan for “The Story of Egg, Dale Blankenaar from South Africa for “Quill Soup” and Armando Fonseca from Mexico for “The Howling” with BIB Plaques.

Due to the pandemic, the jury met online and the BIB Grand Prix went to Spanish illustrator Elena Odriozola for “Mixed Feelings”.

Lee Myung Ae from South Korea for “Tomorrow Will Be a Sunny Day” and Amanda Mijangos, Armando Fonseca and Juan Palomino from Mexico for “The Sea” are among the five winners of Golden Apples. 
Sylvie Bello from France for “The First Snow”, Anna and Varvara Kendel from Russia for “To the North, Our Earth Breathes” and Chao Zhang from China for “Poetry and Painting Collection, Story of Grandma’s Snowflower” also received other Golden Apples.

Verzone from Czech for “Ludwig van Beethoven”, Topipittori from Italy for “The First Snow” and Zahori Books from Spain for “Lost Landscapes” were the publishers that won honorable mentions.

Photo: This combination photo shows the front covers of the Iranian books that won BIB Plaques at the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava. 


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