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Meeting Mehrdokht Amini

I have had quite a fascinating and productive day. I'm back volunteering at school, and today they had the children's book illustrator Mehrdokht Amini in to talk to the students. While I must admit to not being that familiar with her work, I found her a remarkable woman. She's from Iran, so we got a glimpse of the regime there. She described how, outwardly, things were very, very repressed; yet behind closed doors this meant people went to the other extreme. She didn't elaborate much about precisely what that meant, but one can understand the psychological mechanisms at play.

After a short break, she lead a drawing session with the students. I was in two minds about staying for that at first - I was soon due to meet Matt B for another editing session - but I'm glad I hung about. The images she created on the board in front of us were intriguing:vivid, detailed, yet abstracted in a North African style. I was fascinated to watch her draw. It seemed so evocative, non-western and other-worldly. Chatting to her a bit after the event, she struck me as one of those interesting people from a completely different area of the world; who you meet only briefly yet who stays in your mind for a long while afterwards. I went away eager to find out more; it just goes to show how one can never stop learning.

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