0519 GMT December 05, 2021
Iranian cartoonist Alireza Pakdel received over 40 international awards of which five were achieved in two months.
He was born in 1981 in the northeastern city of Mashhad and currently works in Art Bureau of Khorasan Razavi Province.
Iran Daily interviewed Pakdel to know more about his achievements in domestic and world arenas.
IRAN DAILY: Please tell us briefly about your activities in the field of cartoon and prizes you have achieved.
ALIREZA PAKDEL: I began my activities in the field in 1994 with have worked for 'Golaqa' and 'Hey, Children Golaqa' magazines. Since 2005, I entered the field professionally and I spent all my life and energy on that.
I have also worked for several dailies namely: E'temad, Sharq, Khorasan, Qods, Hamshahri, Farhikhtegan, Jam-e Jam as well as satirical magazines such as 'Khatkhahti' and the monthly 'Mashreqiyyah'.
I experienced the world of professional caricatures in press. I was always ready to take part in domestic and international festivals. I won 70 domestic and international prizes of which 40 were international awards.
Among the most important international awards is the Merit Award at the 31st Aydın Doğan Cartoon Contest in Turkey (2014) which is equal to Academy Awards in terms of significance. I also received awards in a Portuguese cartoon festival for three consecutive years. Furthermore, I won three prizes of Don Quixote International Cartoon Festival in Germany.
In addition, I took part and was awarded in five cartoon contests in Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Croatia and Germany over a two-month period.
Please explain about International Akşehir Nasreddin Hodja Festival in which you outshone other participants.
International Akşehir Nasreddin Hodja Festival is one the most significant cartoon festivals in the world which takes place annually in Turkey. The subject is optional and all participants are free to create works based according to their own will.
The festival has three main awards and nine special awards. In 2016, I and two other Iranians Kambiz Derambakhsh and Sajjad Rafei grabbed three awards in the Turkish gala.
A total 1,650 artworks by 790 cartoonists from 69 countries were submitted for the festival. The panel of jury selects the best works in four phases and the finalists compete for the main awards.
Can you mention the theme of your works.
I usually draw cartoons about refugees and risky migrations by sea. Of course, such migrations pertain to the Syrians, but several other migrants in the Middle East accompany them to Europe via sea. The majority of them lose their lives on the way and the West simply observes such disasters without any action. These victims were always of concern for me since, on the one hand, war and difficult living conditions force them to migrate, while on the other, the Western and European countries show no humanitarian feelings for them.