Free events planned to celebrate Iranian illustrator

Free events planned to celebrate Iranian illustrator

Indie children’s publisher Tiny Owl has announced two London events to celebrate illustrator Ehsan Abdollahi’s finally getting a visa days after the UK embassy had initially banned him from visiting the UK to promote his new book.

Abdollahi will help children create their own “passports” encouraging hope and peace at the free event on 9th August at the Parasol Unit Gallery in Wharf Road, near Old Street. He will then discuss the need for international collaboration in children’s books at the House of Illustration on 10th August.

The Bookseller exclusively revealed last month how the Iranian illustrator’s request for a visa had been rejected by the Home Office, meaning he was forced to cancel his events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. He had been booked to host several children’s events and art workshops based around his new book, A Bottle of Happiness, with his publisher, Tiny Owl, funding the costs of his visit. Following public support for Abdollahi including a Twitter hashtag, #VisaForAbdollahi, and involvement from Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the UK embassy in Dubai announced it had reversed its decision on Thursday (27th July).

Tiny Owl revealed this week that the illustrator of When I Coloured In the World (Tiny Owl) will help children create their own “passport with countries of Happiness, Hope and Peace” at an interactive workshop in north London on 9th August between 10am and 11am. For more information or tickets email dhiyandra@parasol-unit.org.

The following day Abdollahi will appear as part of a panel discussion exploring the importance of diversity in children’s books and “intercultural collaboration” and the issues behind the original visa refusal. The event will take place from 7pm to 8.30pm at the House of Illustration in London’s King’s Cross. For more information, visit here.

Abdollahi, also a lecturer at the University of Tehran, will also appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 14th and 15th August. For more information, visit edbookfest.co.uk.