Iranian Animation Legend Banned From Teaching

Noureddin Zarrinkelk

Noureddin Zarrinkelk, one of Iran’s most celebrated animation figures and a fine art professor at Tehran University, was thrown out of his teaching job last week for “insulting the Islamic hijab.” The 70-year-old Zarrinkelk has directed over a dozen shorts and various long-form projects, written and illustrated numerous books, founded Iran’s first animation school in 1974, started the country’s ASIFA chapter, and most recently, served a term as the president of ASIFA International. According to an Iranian paper, the incident was sparked “during a classroom discussion over an image of a bald angel drawn by a student when [Zarrinkelk] asked the woman if she wore the full veil because she herself was bald.” The subtle undertone of his comment, as reported by the New York Times, was that Zarrinkelk was asking, “Why be afraid of the beauty of a woman’s hair?” He has currently been banned from teaching at any Iranian university. Zarrinkelk has an English website here.

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