1) Read the Conclusion of Performing Democracy and explain why Fadwa’s story matters.
Fadwa’s story matters because it is one that gives an example of many things and impacts a lot of different social movements. For example, Fadwa was protesting against how she was treated at a single mother and wasn’t receiving the help that other families were receiving, based on the fact that she was unmarried. So, she lit herself on fire and burned to death in front of one of the buildings of the government that was supposed to be able to protect and help her and her children. This demonstration was a protest against the denial of her rights as a single mother, but it impacted other movements, too. It impacted the protests on the rights of women, the rights of the poor, and it impacted the protests on western media and how it covers news around the world. It impacted western media by not being covered by western media and then being discovered and brought forth as an example of how the west was being selective in how it covered the happenings in other parts of the world. Fadwa’s story is important because beyond the original intent of the action, it has a ripple effect that has reached and touched many lives as a story of bravery for those in the midst of all kinds of different battles.
2) Why was Persepolis censored?
Persepolis was censored for several reasons, one was religious material. In Islamic religions you cannot create an image of God. In Persepolis, Satrapi draws pictures of God that make Him out to be a grandfatherly-type figure. This helps readers to identify with what is going on in the scenes where Marjane is talking to God because most readers are able to feel the same love and care that Marjane is portraying in these scenes. There is also the issue of the veil, it’s portrayed in many ways as something used to control the women by forcing them to either wear it or to take it off. The veil is something that has deeply religious roots and is meant to be a personal choice out of religious devotion. The Islamic government took that away from their people. That brings us to another point about the censorship, the government is not portrayed in a positive light. It’s no wonder it was censored, it shows the government doing horrible, awful things to its people, like allowing them to be burned to death inside of a theatre.
3) Choose an aspect of Persepolis that matters to you and use an image.
Something from Persepolis that actually mattered to me a lot was the use of the grandfather as the image for God. I think it’s something that so many people in the west don’t understand is that the Islamic people actually think about God in much the same way that we do. I think it made Marjane and her faith extremely relatable. I know for me, my grandpa was incredibly influential in my life and, in particular, in my faith. It’s so comforting to me to think of God as a grandfather-type figure and it makes complete sense to me. In this way, is was really cool for me to see that that was how Marjane depicted God, too, and I connected with her immediately. I think this matters because I think it connects with people all over the world and, especially in the West, the perceptions of Islam and its religion are very skewed. I think reforming that perception is one step closer to equality for all in the west and it can start with something as simple as a picture that makes readers, no matter who they are, identify with Islam, even if only a tiny bit.