Mana Neyestani

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Mana Neyestani
Mana Neyestani on Poletik.jpg
Mana Neyestani on Poletik - October 2014
Born مانا نیستانی
1973 (age 40–41)
Tehran, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Area(s) Cartoonist, Colourist
Awards Cartoonists Rights Network International award for courage in editorial cartooning, 2010

Mana Neyestani (born 1973, in Tehran) is an Iranian cartoonist and illustrator for economic, intellectual, political, cultural, and professional magazines. He is particularly known for his work for the newspaper Zan and Persian language Radio Zamaneh.

Early life[edit]

Neyestani is of Iranian Azerbaijani ethnicity.[1][2][3][4] Mana is the brother of fellow cartoonist Touka Neyestani. Their father Manouchehr was a well-known Iranian poet.[5] He is a graduate of the University of Tehran with a M.A. in Architecture.[6]


Neyestani began his professional cartooning career in 1989, and started drawing editorial cartoons in 1998, for Zan. During 1998-2000, he drew a large number of cartoons for various reformist newspapers, such as Asr-e Azadegan, Sobhe Emrooz, Mosharekat, Azad, Neshat (as a freelancer), and Aftab-e Emrooz (as a staff cartoonist). His cartoons are published regularly on the website of Iranian exile media Radio Zamaneh, as well as Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society.


Riots erupted by ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran when they took offense to a Neyestani cartoon[7] published in the children's section of the 12 May 2006 supplement of Iran, a government-run newspaper. The cartoon depicted a cockroach responding in Azerbaijani. Neyestani, along with Mehrdad Ghasemfar, the editor-in-chief of Iran, were arrested by government officials and the newspaper was closed down following the riots.[8]

Neyestani and the editor of the paper ended up in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison under conditions the cartoonist described as "Kafkaesque." Three months later, Neyestani was given a temporary prison leave and used it to flee the country with his wife. He finally ended up in exile in France where he published a graphic novel titled "An Iranian Metamorphosis," about his time in prison.[9]


  • Award for courage in editorial cartooning (presented by Cartoonists Rights Network International), 2010[9]
  • 2nd award of housing in Tehran (1999)
  • 2nd award of Atomic Bomb cartoon contest of Golagha magazine (1999)
  • Diploma of honor of football international cartoon contest in Iran (1999)
  • Diploma of honor of 4th biennial international cartoon in Iran (1999)
  • Selected in section final of comic strip in Umoristi a Marostica in Italy (1999)
  • First award of the press festival in cartoon in Iran (1999)
  • 2nd award of blue-sky contest in Tehran (1998)
  • 4th award of blue-sky contest in Tehran (1997)


  1. ^ "Cockroach Cartoonist Jailed In Iran". The Comics Reporter. 2006-05-24. 
  2. ^ "Iranian paper banned over cartoon". BBC News. 2006-05-23. 
  3. ^ "IFJ Criticises "Political Interference" as Cartoons Rows Put Journalists in Jail in Iran and Jordan". International Federation of Journalists. June 3, 2006. 
  4. ^ "IRAN: Azeris unhappy at being butt of national jokes". IRIN (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)). 2006-05-25. 
  5. ^ (Persian) [1] Iran institute.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Biography of Mana Neyestani". International Cartoon Center or IRANCARTOON International Features. Archived from the original on 2005-10-16. Retrieved 2007-02-08. 
  7. ^ Neyestani, Mana (May 19, 2006). "Cartoon". Archives. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  8. ^ Suskhaava Panturkisthaa
  9. ^ a b Mana Neyestani: The Kafkaesque World Of An Iranian Cartoonist By Golnaz Esfandiari|| 10 April 2012

External links[edit]