Harvard Shows Iranian Political Art
May 18, 2007,
Cambridge, MA -- TMO attended the opening
reception of a photo exhibit entitled "Walls of
Martyrdom: Tehran's Propaganda Murals" at Harvard
University. To show the power of imagery in Iranian
culture, Fontini Christia displayed photographs of
Tehran's public murals in an exhibit designed by Ghazal Abbasy
Asbagh's husband Alireza Korangy participated in the
panel, "Murals and Martyrdom in the
Islamic Republic of Iran."
Asbagh and Korangy
stand in front of Teheran Mural in the CGIS South
concourse at 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA.
Another panel, "A Comparative Perspective of
Martyrdom and Propaganda Art in Iraq, Lebanon, and the
Palestinian Territories" followed.
The program claims, "The exhibit's primary objective
is to document and present images that are part of the
daily urban experience in Tehran
the exhibit also
aspires to debate and deconstruct
the extent to
which they express revolutionary fervor and religious
fundamentalism or merely the regime's anxieties and
Some felt the art expresses Iran's "death
culture." Yet others found that the smiling
martyr murals clearly celebrate transcendence, like
the American "Give me liberty or give me
"Martyrdom is the legacy of the Prophet," an
Islamic pieta, depicts the veiled Prophet Mohammed
mourning over a young martyr.
A young volunteer in the Iran-Iraq war is pictured in a
field of flowers stretching into the horizon.
Iranians remember their war heroes as beautiful souls.
American war heroes are memorialized with white crosses,
but seldom remembered so personally.
A Palestinian female martyr is honored with a quote,
"God knows I love my children, but I love martyrdom
more." The inscription reads: "22 year old
Palestinian woman, Rima Saleh Ariashi, mother of two
children, who sought martyrdom in 2004 in occupied
Palestine that resulted in the death of four
One mural demonstrates the threat of satellite TV. A hand
reaches out from a satellite dish with a match to burn
Iranian culture, which is represented by stylized
flowers, as one might see in a traditional mosque.
Exhibit designer Asbagh agreed that the some of the
murals have some similarity to Soviet realist posters.
She said, "I am happy to bring a little of the real
Tehran to the USA."
She has long noticed a major disconnect between the
reality of Iran and the coverage of Iran in the US
media. She hopes that this exhibit can help
Americans to get to know Iranians as people.
Asbagh mentioned that the Iranian encounter with
Americans can prove disappointing because Americans tend
to know so little about the world in general.
Posted By Joachim Martillo 5/23/2007 07:52:00 PM
[EAAZI] Iranian Murals Resistance, Hope,
Background by Gnome