12/12 Arts United 4 Iran Blog: See art, music, & writing contributions, videos & pictures from the day, messages of support, and more!

Dec 27, 20090 comments

See the 12/12 blog for ALL contributions and event photos & videos!


http://artsunited4iran.blogspot.com Also see all writing, art, videos, music, and messages of support contributed! Are we missing yours? E-mail it to share@united4iran.org!

On December 12th, 2009 – six months since the Iran election and two days after International Human Rights Day – over thirty cities hosted the United4Iran facilitated 12/12 Arts United 4 Iran – a series of art & culture events around the world meant to highlight the ongoing civil and human rights violations in Iran. United4Iran’s previous event, the July 25th Global Day of Action, was coordinated as an immediate reaction to the events of Iran and allow a forum for many groups, who would not have come together otherwise, to stand under the same banner, goals, and message. Building on the international success of the first Global Day of Action, a network of organizations, academics, artists, and other prominent figures again came together for 12/12 Arts United 4 Iran, in order to make a proactive effort to help the Iranian people sustain the attention of the world. United4Iran encouraged the use art & culture, things treasured in Iran, as a platform for the international community to once again express their support and solidarity for the growing movement. Across the world, from Honolulu to Vienna, Boston to the United Kingdom, Austin & Dallas, Texas to Japan,  and Arizona to Vancouver, slideshows, photographs, works of art, and music were exhibited; discussions regarding the current threats to the Iranian peoples’ human and civil rights rounded out many of the events. Pictures and videos of people proudly holding signs in support of the Iranian people came from every corner of the world, including from Istanbul, the Voz Propia foundation in Costa Rica, as well as Kenya & Lesotho, Africa. 12/12 Arts United 4 Iran gained the support and sponsorship of Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Front Line Defenders, Nobel Women’s Initiative, PEN International, PEN Kenya, PEN USA, Exiled Writers Ink, and ARTICLE 19. Various organizations came out in support of the people of Iran and 12/12 Arts United 4 Iran, including 12 Petals Media Group, Canadian Human Rights Voice, ChildrenofIran.net, Design Action Collective, Iris Arts & Education Group, and MideastYouth.com. For a full list of supporters visit the 12/12 Abbreviated Event Summary. Leading up to the event, United4Iran received video messages of support and other contributions for the Iranian people from such notable figures as Mohsen Namjoo, satirist Nikahang Kowsar (who also dedicated several of his cartoons to the Iranian people), journalist Roxana Saberi, poets Reza Hiwa and Esmail Khoi, artist Soheil Tavakoli, and multi-talent Robert Karimi, who also hosted an event in Knoxville, TN. Other supporters of the event and the movement in Iran included director Bahman Ghobadi (who dedicated “No One Knows About the Persian Cats” to the people of Iran), Masoud Noghrehkar, Sussan Deyhim, the Makhmalbaf family, including Hana Makhmalbaf who dedicated her recent film “Green Days” to the people of Iran, Kiosk’s Arash Sobhani, Hypernova’s Raam, Narges Kalhor (filmmaker and daughter of Mehdi Kalhor, Ahmadinejad’s advisor), Mohammad-Reza Asrar, and many more. Dozens and dozens of writers, artists, graphic designers, and more from all across the globe submitted their own shows of solidarity in their chosen mediums. All of these can be found at http://artsunited4iran.blogspot.com/. In San Francisco, men and women lined up to stand in front of a green backdrop to have their pictures taken in support of Majid Tavakoli before enjoying an evening of performances from a varied group, including from both Kurdish and Baha’i performers who brought their own unique insights to the event. At an earlier Literary Reading, sculptor Paula Slater unveiled a newly bronzed bust statue of Sohrab, aptly named “Freedom Warrior,” in addition to showcasing a previously made sculpture: a bronze bust of Neda titled “Angel of Freedom.” The Solidarity Committee to Protect the Iranian People’s Will in Washington DC hosted a 12/12 event during which many prominent figures spoke, including Iranian-American journalist Rudi Bakhtiar. New York City hosted art and music, and saw performances from notable musicians, including Rana Farhan, who dedicated her song “Voices” to the people of Iran, and The Freedom Glory Project. In Kyrgyzstan, activists organized a screening of the movie “Persepolis,” in Dusseldorf and across several other Germany cities (including Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Heidelberg, Nuremburg, and Bayern) were several rousing performances by musicians Anonymous Sinner, P. Cantell, and Tapesh 2012, all of which dedicated songs to the movement. A group in Copenhagen held a “warm-up” demonstration in preparation for the Climate Change Summit, marching with banners reading, “Climate with People, NOT Dictators” and “A Natural Disaster” to protest Ahmadinejad’s inclusion in the international meeting. In Kansas City, a group of activists gathered to plant “Tulips on Troost” a garden dedicated to the people of Iran. The group will document and share the growth of the tulips to mirror the growing movement in Iran. Various universities organized 12/12 Arts United 4 Iran events as well, including California State University, Fullerton, which hosted an art show entitled “Hidden Wounds, Paper Bullets.” University of California, San Diego held an extended gallery showing named “Off the Bean Path: Violence, Women, and Art,” which showcased twenty-one well-respected artists from 19 countries who explored the many dimensions of gender-based violence through photos, paintings, and sculptures. Back in Portland, Oregon the group live streamed their powerful event, complete with speakers and a California representative from the “One Million Signature Campaign.” In Paris, a play company dedicated an amazing performance of “Kyoto Forever” to the movement in Iran. Florida For Free Iran and Amnesty International put on a statewide concert in Orlando, Florida, with singer, songwriter, and producer, Faramarz Aslani performing and speaking. Several online 12/12 Arts United 4 Iran campaigns blossomed, including one hosted by Voices of Children and aptly named “Flowers4Iran.” The group elicited drawings, pictures, sculptures, or photos of flowers – each one to represent one child – and collected the bouquets into a single field to represent “the grassroots activism” blooming in Iran. A group of artist activists from iGreen organized the “Trail of Green” campaign; art showings of green shoes in long lines helped to illuminate across the United States the ongoing struggle, and the “Train of Green” Iran’s activists are clearly leaving behind. The state run news agency claimed that he had been arrested in women’s clothes thinking that would bring shame to him As a result, men all over the world were donning headscarves to show support of the student leader. At the University of Toronto, mock nooses hung from the ceiling, and male students wearing hijab, hung these nooses around their necks, took pictures, and posted them in show of solidarity with the students of Iran and Majid Tavakoli. In Amsterdam, Sahand Sahebdivani got on stage wearing a green headscarf and discussed the arrest of student leader, Majid Tavakoli, in Iran during the last round of demonstrations. Many good-humored pictures came from United4Iran, Germany – everyday Deutschland citizens touted hijab in support of Majid Tavakoli and the students of Iran. New York Times journalist, Nazila Fathi, who attended the Netherland event, commented to United4Iran’s European coordinators, “Some prison guard is going to tell Majid about this. He’ll find out that people are supporting him.” The many 12/12 Arts United 4 Iran contributions – writing, messages, videos, photographs, art, and other displays of support for the Iranian people – continue to stream in. To see the amazing shows of solidarity for the Iranian people through some clever, creative, and breathtaking mediums, visit United4Iran’s 12/12 dedicated site at http://artsunited4iran.blogspot.com.