Persepolis and #iranelection

  • Jun. 17th, 2009 at 11:32 PM
mochi: A woman leans back on her dressing table (tired)
Tonight I watched Persepolis. It seemed appropriate given recent events in Iran. I loved the quality and style of the animation. Very beautiful. I would be happy to watch it again with a focus on the actual animation. This reminds me that I ought to get to work planning my animations for the coming academic year. Marjane's personal story in Persepolis gave some perspective to me in thinking about the current situation in Iran. This is part of a long history of resistance and oppression. Marjane as depicted in Persepolis has a life, has desires and hopes, just like any woman her age, but her past is tied into the political struggles and oppressive regimes of Iran so that she is not free to indulge happily in life's pleasures and frivolities. It makes me think that since I don't have any weight of history tied to my own life, since I can indulge in frivolity, I should take the utmost enjoyment out of that freedom to not worry, and simultaneously do whatever small or large part I can to assist those who do not have the same luxury.

For example: I can sit here comfortably on my couch and post to my blog, without needing to connect to a proxy server, without fear that doing so may lead to my arrest. In Iran there is a young woman just like me who does not have that freedom right now.

It is astounding to me that Iranian's freedom of communication has been supressed. Even more astounding and appaling are the attacks on university students. This is not merely about election fraud, not about anyone's opinion on Iran as a country or its political place in the world, this is about people having their basic freedom to speak and go about life as usual taken away.

Much of the news is coming through Twitter on #iranelection and #gr88, although it can be hard to tell what is real and what is misinformation.

If you are on Windows, this page tells you how to set up a proxy server for Iranians to access proper internet. If you are on Mac like me, I'm not sure how to go about it or where to find instructions. If you know how or have a link that shows how, please comment. I will update with it.

A final thought: there is a strong support for the Iranian protesters, and with that comes a desire to do something, but as people begin calling for President Obama to take futher action, please remember that interference from the US could make things worse for Iran. Sen. John Kerry writes for the NYT about dangers of Western interference:
"We can’t escape the reality that for reformers in Tehran to have any hope for success, Iran’s election must be about Iran — not America."
In short, if you want to help, make a proxy server; help the Iranians keep contact with the internet. Blogs and Twitter will be essential to them in organizing as currently cell phones have been cut off.