About 12/12 – Arts United 4 Iran

Nov 14, 20090 comments

– A Global Celebration of Human Rights through Arts & Culture –

U4I_Dec12_A3-3-BannerIn celebration of International Human Rights Day, on Saturday December 12, 2009 United4Iran will facilitate Arts United 4 Iran, a day devoted to worldwide displays of musical, visual, and performing arts highlighting the issues of human rights in Iran. This is a non-partisan event focusing on human and civil rights in solidarity with the people of Iran. Why Arts United 4 Iran? Musicians, performers, artists, writers, and concerned citizens will use Arts United 4 Iran as a medium to express their solidarity with the Iranian people and artists’ struggle for human and civil rights. Art is a universal expression that connects humanity across time and space and it has been the voice of justice, peace and rights throughout time. Currently many brave artists in Iran are speaking up to demand basic rights and we need to support them. Why on 12.12? 12.12 is the first Saturday after International Human Rights Day (IHRD), which coincides with the 61st anniversary of the General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is also the six-month anniversary of June 12th, the beginning of the peaceful protests in Iran that were violently put down. IHRD is historically marked by supporters engaging in action in support of human rights.

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” -George Bernard Shaw “Art is opening up of eyes, minds, hands, and … art matters because it is universal.” -Alice Buttrick

For more background, take a look at some of the most recent media covering Iranian artists and their bravery and struggles. The video below is in Persian; the two articles following the video are in English.

AP “Iran artists in tug of war with government” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091114/ap_en_ot/ml_iran_culture_clash

New York Times Arts, Briefly – Iranian Musician Declares His Protest /2009/11/nyt-arts-briefly-iranian-musician-declares-his-protest/

The Goals

  • Continuing to stand in solidarity with all Iranian artists, activists, students, and concerned citizens fighting for their human and civil rights.
  • Increasing public awareness regarding the continuing civil rights movement in Iran and the continuous human and civil rights violations in Iran. Much of the international community at large is unaware that the civil rights movement in Iran is still very much alive.
  • Letting the government of Iran know that we are still watching and will not tolerate the abuses.
  • Engaging new partners and artists in support of civil and human rights in Iran.
  • Connecting communities around the world working to support our brothers and sisters in Iran.
  • Building capacity in putting on events and building alliances.

  The Message “In Honor and Celebration of the Civil Rights Movement in Iran.”   Demands to the the Government of Iran

  1. Freedom of Expression, Assembly, and Press
  2. Free Prisoners of Conscience in Iran
  3. End Rape, Murder and Torture of Detainees and Hold Accountable Those Responsible

  Where are these events taking place? See the event map U4I_Dec12_A3-1-Banner_ Many cities are planning large 12/12 Arts United 4 Iran events, including: Amsterdam, Berlin, Dusseldorf, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Vancouver. In Florida, an Amnesty chapter, with the help of U4I, is working tirelessly on a state-wide concert. For a complete list of locations participating, please see the event map . Dozens of smaller events will also take place at local venues, museums, homes and galleries; details will be released as they become available. Many artists and concerned citizens will express their solidarity online through messages of support and expression through the art to be shown on the United4Iran website on 12.12. What do the events look like? A participant’s involvement in Arts United 4 Iran could range from an online message, a song performed in a coffeehouse, living room, community center, or workplace, to a photographic display, a poetry slam, a gallery exhibit, a theatrical performance, or a rock concert. The possibilities of how to participate in Arts United 4 Iran are limitless. The events planned thus far include online messages of support, exhibitions, photo galleries, concerts, theatrical showings, and movie screenings. Read more here. Our vision of success:

  • Tens of thousands of people and hundreds of artists around the world join together at hundreds of events on 12.12 in support of the people of Iran and in the celebration of their flourishing civil rights movement.
  • Extensive mainstream and online media coverage both in and outside of Iran.

I am a non-Iranian. Why should I get involved? The piece following was written by an American activist.

“You might ask why Iran? There are thousands of places we could focus on. For me, Iran is important right now because there is a strong, mature internal movement with leaders that support equal rights for women and minorities and free speech and peaceful assembly. They have shown that millions of Iranians want change and are willing to work hard to gain it. Iran is now engaged in an historical struggle for civil rights. Those of us outside Iran can help them most by showing that we are listening and by making sure that their cause is known about around the world.”

Many non-Iranians have joined the cause. International sensation U2 has dedicated a number of songs and performances to the opposition in Iran, including one they performed with rap-artist Jay-Z (who comes out around minute 3:14). Artist Wyclef Jean also contributed a phenomenal performance. See the videos below.

Below are also digital paintings (WARNING: SOME ARE DISTURBING) and drawings created in support of the people of Iran.

Want to learn more? Click here to see what artists, activists, and others are doing!