Zahra’s Paradise

by f

from Zahra's Paradise

I’ve been reading this webcomic for a while now, but I didn’t think to write about it until my cousin brought it up this morning.

Zahra’s Paradise is the story of a man named Mehdi who goes missing in the recent post-election Iranian protests. He leaves behind a mother, desperate to find him, and a brother who turns to technology to help him understand what has happened to his family. The titular Zahra was an expatriate photographer who came back to take pictures of prisoners at Evin, the notorious Iranian prison. She was caught getting too close to her subjects, imprisoned, tortured, raped and then killed. Though it was initially covered up, a post-mortem quickly revealed the causes of her death.

It’s not light reading. The artwork is gritty and intense. It’s done in black-and-white and is rich in visual detail.

Its creators, a Persian and Arab writer-and-artist team who call themselves Amir and Khalil, chose anonymity for “obvious political reasons”.

I definitely recommend reading this comic. It’s ten chapters deep, but each chapter is of a satisfying — sometimes horrifying — length. It is a powerful statement about a place that would be beyond our reach were it not for the courageous efforts of these authors.

2 Responses to “Zahra’s Paradise”

  1. This comic looks excellent. Sort of like a longer, harsher Persepolis (which everyone should read if they haven’t). It’s on my list of Must Reads, for sure.

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