Kianoush, award-winner in Angoulême Festival

KIANOUSH (KIANOUSH RAMEZANI), member of the Scientific Council of the LIBREXPRESSION Centre, has received the prize of artistic courage, entitled “Couilles au Cul 2018” (French vulgar expression to qualify a person with great courage) prize of the Angoulême comic book festival. A provocative title for a prize for boldness and bravery. The organizers of this prize have praised the “courage and perseverance of Kianoush vis-a-vis the republic of the mullahs little inclined to self-deprecation”.

Portrait of Kianoush © Paolo Verzone

Iranian Artist and Activist, Kianoush is living and working in exile as a political refugee in Paris since 2009. His editorial cartoons appear in Courrier International and other national and International media in France and other countries such as Guardian, Siné mensuel, Arte, Iran Human Rights, etc. He observes society, educational system and other art fields like short films and video arts. He created the association “United sketches” to defend prosecuted cartoonists, an association hosted by the World War II memorial of Caen in France.
He has been jury member of Interfilm Berlin [International short film festival] and he gives educational lectures in the colleges and universities since 2010. He chose “Cartooning: The Art of Danger” for his TEDx talk in 2014, months before Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.
He has been curating and directing “Sketch Freedom”, International cartoon expo, since 2013 in collaboration with Gothenburg film festival and Swedish National Archives in Gothenburg.
He is the author of the book “The Earth’s Visual Diary” published in 2014

The “Couilles au cul” award was created by the editor-in-chief of the French “Fluide Glacial” comic magazine, Yan Lindingre, to be awarded to “a talented and courageous artist who must fight to continue publishing“. By receiving this award, the laureate who suffers threats in his country ensures support throughout the world and opens up professional opportunities.

Comments of Kianoush

The cartoonist is an activist. I believe in total freedom of expression, without limit, without exception, you can draw everything, you have the right to say everything, to provoke, even to insult.” And if someone feels hurt, he can seize justice, this is the normal functioning of democracy.
“When I see Europeans who live freely, who do not know what it is like to live in a dictatorship and who criticize freedom of expression, I invite them to emigrate to Iran and live there for ten years. We shall see then what they say about freedom … The cartoonist is an activist who defends the freedom of expression “.

© Kianoush – Iranian courageous women

I asked myself this fundamental question: do I have the balls? Not so much as compared to all those women in Iran who are fighting against the mandatory hijab. They risk their lives, because their will for non-wearing the veil can be punished from the lashes to the prison. They launched a movement on Facebook: once a week, they wear a white veil to show their disagreement with the veil.

Some cartoons by Kianoush

Kianoush website:




Economist and historian, director of the Center LIBREXPRESSION, Foundation Giuseppe di Vagno


    Keesha Tompsett

    (September 18, 2018 - 10:46 pm)

    With thanks! Valuable information!

    Salina Ferguson

    (September 26, 2018 - 5:25 pm)

    What’s up, after reading this awesome piece

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