Frequent answer to Sexism
Fanak Mani and Marion Takhi created design and advertising for the Burgtheater Vienna, from 2009 to 2019 and received several awards for their work. As a well-rehearsed duo, they are more effective than a large operation. manitakhi creates room for entertaining advertising messages that are not at the expense of others, and has a passion for sustainable design.
Born in Vienna, with Persian roots, I studied Visual Communication at the École supérieure des art appliqués Estienne in Paris. Emigrating to NYC was a must, so I gained experience as an Art Director for Bennett Advertising in Manhattan. Between Eisenberg‘s Sandwiches, the Express Train to the Bronx and Kung-Fu classes, the yearning for Vienna became too strong after two years.
Back in good old Vienna, I started to work as a designer for advertising and design agencies. What I found appalling was that the industry was neither diversity conscious nor gender equal: rather it was male-dominated with little room for women in Creative Director positions.
Starting in 2009, I had the pleasure to create the visual communication of the Burgtheater with a fantastic team and became a voracious theatre consumer.
Since then I have been studying Art History with a focus on media aesthetics. Now I am realising, together with Marion, something I have always dreamed of: to fundamentally change society through design.
If you spent your adolescence in an Upper Austrian biotope, like I did, you probably had two options: to accept the local customs or develop a feminism light that wasn’t hip at the time.
My passion for design led me to the “Graphische” in Vienna, and has stayed with me since then. After completing my education, I took in the advertising scene in Vienna and decided to become self-employed as an Art Director, starting in 2009.
What drives me are hard-to-break behavioural patterns such as “this is how we’ve always done it” and the desire to show how the careful use of language and images can counter existing grievances.
The idea for this arose in the summer of 2020 and the following adventure trip brought exciting insights and became a never-ending source of astonishing information.
It is the wish of many intersectional feminists that the advertising that surrounds us correctly portrays the diversity of our society without resorting to gender and ethnic clichés. Inclusive language, no sexist clichés, no reduction to the body and no racist undertones and images are still unfortunately the exception in the advertising industry.
From a feminist point of view, I find the approach that Fanak Mani and Marion Takhi have chosen to be exciting and important. I wish both of them good luck, because only such perspectives can change society in the medium term.
President Planning Familial Luxembourg
manitakhi: creative, competent, cosmopolitan, Art-sensitive & customer solution-oriented. RECOMMENDATION!
Author, Director, Head of Offene Burg Vienna 2016-2019
Fanak Mani’s work is special! In my long professional years at the theater, I have never met a graphic artist of her rank, her attitude, her incorruptibility. She is able to really think into artistic ideas and to respond to them with her own thoughts and design.
Her work is always characterized by respect for the most varied challenges: for diversity, sensitivity to ethnic, social issues and the importance of gender roles. Never dogmatic, always imaginative and creative.
Eva Maria Voigtländer
Head dramaturg Burgtheater Vienna 2015-2019