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Hamed Eshrat

works as a graphic designer and comic artist in Berlin and is a illustrator for various publishing houses, agencies and institutions.  In 2018, the graphic novel Nieder mit Hitler! oder Warum Karl kein Radfahrer sein wollte (Down with Hitler! or Why Karl didn’t want to be a cyclist), based on the life story of the 1927 Thuringian-born Karl Metzner, was published by avant verlag. Parallel to this, a documentary film of the same name was released. Currently Hamed Eshrat is working on his next book, a story about his youth in the Westphalian province.

Hamed Eshrat© John Brömstrup
Hamed Eshrat - Reconciliation© Hamed Eshrat

New Things Are Created By Crises And By Working Together

Can you tell us about what you wanted to convey with this piece of artwork? What were some inspirations or ideas you wanted to consider when you were creating it?

For reconciliation, you have to be willing to make an effort. This means that you have to be ready to deal with your injuries and conflicts. For reconciliation to succeed, one should make peace with oneself. One must open oneself to one's counterpart, overcome one's prejudices and reach out to the other person.
Of course, this does not always work out at the first attempt; misunderstandings and new struggles can arise. Reconciliation is a process that does not happen at the push of a button, it is work, work that is worthwhile, because as a rule new things are created by crises and by working together. But even when you reconcile, something always rankles.
 
Why is reconciliation as a theme important to you? 
 
We all want to live in peace and someone who cannot forgive is bitter. Someone who does not feel inner peace will also find it difficult to live in peace with his or her fellow human beings. Therefore it is important to overcome one's ego, to approach the other and to forgive the other. It is helpful to practice understanding somebody else’s position - to really train oneself to perceive and accept the other perspective.

What was the creative process like in creating this artwork? (Do you map it out in a plan beforehand, do you work on text first and then illustration or vice versa? You can also talk about the medium or methods you use in creating the work.)
 
After some initial considerations and a little research I became aware of the complexity of the subject. I considered three different approaches:
1. to draw a comic about a historical reconciliation, i.e. from our past history.
2. to tell a little personal story, an anecdote, or
3. to deal with the topic more freely and playfully.
After doing a few sketches and giving it further consideration I made the decision to tell just a little story, which is easy to grasp but leaves room for the readers’ own interpretations.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

My main character here is TOFU BOY, a character who has already had his appearance in 20 stories that were published in the Berlin newspaper taz in 2016-17.
This comic, however, was created exclusively for this project.

To Learn More About Hamed's Work

you can visit his website and follow him on Instagram or Facebook:
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