In an all-too-rare moment of collaboration across political borders and cultural boundaries a Persian author, Arab artist and a Jewish editor came together to create a comic centering on the 2009 protests in Iran. "Zahra's Paradise" tells the story of one mother's hunt for her missing son in the aftermath of the protests.
The most fascinating aspect of "Zahra's Paradise" is the way in which the story was compiled. Though the power of blogging, heartbreaking scenes were lifted from real-life scenarios where people shared their harrowing stories. "We took those little images and put them together, if you will, into a larger story," explained Amir, a human rights activist and the author of the book. Khalil, the artist, also only goes by his first name. On the website, the duo explains, "The authors have chosen anonymity for obvious political reasons."
In the video above, Amir says, "The notion that Iran is crushed, that Iran is finished, that the regime has silenced the Iranian people is utterly wrong." This collective contribution is a sincere and powerful testament to overcoming censorship in a tumultuous political climate. Check out the BBC story by Anna Bressanin and Ilya Shintser above.