Marjane Satrapi Wins Spain’s top prize

Marjane Satrapi, celebrated for her groundbreaking graphic novel Persepolis, has been honoured with Spain’s esteemed Princess of Asturias communications and humanities prize, per The 54-year-old was lauded by the prize jury for her “essential” role in championing human rights and freedoms.

Described as a symbol of women’s civic commitment, the French-Iranian was praised for her audacity and artistic contributions, which have positioned her as one of the most influential figures in intercultural and intergenerational dialogue.

Born in Iran, Satrapi’s Persepolis chronicles her upbringing during the Islamic revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. She was sent to Vienna at 14 to avoid arrest due to her opposition to the regime, later returning to Tehran before settling in France in 1994. There, she established herself as an author, film director, and painter. Her animated adaptation of “Persepolis” earned her an Academy Award nomination in 2008.

(FILES) French-Iranian graphic novelist, cartoonist, illustrator and film director, Marjane Satrapi, poses during a photo session in Paris on November 1, 2022. French-Iranian graphic novelist and illustrator Marjane Satrapi has been awarded the 2024 Princess of Asturias Prize for Communication and Humanity, AFP reports on April 30, 2024. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)

Expressing her gratitude, Satrapi called the award “a great honour and an immense pleasure.” She dedicated it to “the fierce fight of my people for human rights and freedom.” 

The €50,000 prize is one of eight Asturias prizes covering various fields and is awarded yearly by a foundation named for Spanish Crown Princess Leonor. Past recipients of the communications and humanities prize include US feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Italian novelist Umberto Eco and Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario Bros. The awards will be presented at a ceremony hosted by Spain’s King Felipe VI in October.

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