I once did an animation of Ahmadinejad. This was part of the “where is my vote campaign” when the Iranian elections were rigged ( not that under the Islamic Republic there has ever been proper elections but even with their twisted standards they rigged it!).
Back in June 2009 Neda Agha Sultan was shot by a Basij member. Basij is a so-called volunteer militia that operates in the Islamic Republic of Iran (whenever the authorities want to use violence against the public or need a rent a mob. In reality these people are not volunteers they are on the payroll). She was shot as part of the policy to spread fear amongst peaceful protesters who were upset by the rigged elections. In those days I was watching events live on the internet and broadcasting it wherever I could. I was so moved by watching this event that with the slightest mention of her name I had to force myself and hold back the tears.
Inspired by the poem “Anthem for Doomed youth” by Wilfred Owen on 23rd June 2009 I wrote this poem and created this image of a man with the face of the globe looking behind a distorted glass.
What lamenting cry for you who fell like a leaf?
More howling guns or sound of protesting feet?
What drops should pour for this anguish?
Their tears of Gas? More weeping in blood vanquished?
No mockeries for you; no drink from their martyr’s well,
Nor sound and vision from a TV deaf and blind for those who fell,
No gleam of sorrow from these murderous beasts,
Only a frenzy as they persist their blood feast.
How many candles should we burn to keep your memory alive?
Burn the World with your light or go back to just survive?
You gave your youth, life and beauty,
Shame on us to live but not to do our duty.
Life is just a day, our lives race towards the dusk,
We shall walk your path in freeway, we must until we turn to dust.
Ramin Tork 23rd June 2009
Regained Grandour, a set on Flickr.
Back in 1977 when I was 13, I was fortunate enough to be awarded this comic book titled “Azemat-e Baazyaafteh” (“Restored Grandeur”) by my school. It is perhaps now a collector’s item as it was not sold in shops and I doubt if many copies have survived in Iran. Irrespective of your views on the late king, it is a fun book to read. I will try to scan and send the 62 pages bit by bit.
It just shows that whilst other kids read Superman and Batman comics, we were being nurtured on the milk of politics from an early . I recently saw an exhibition of Soviet Propaganda posters in Tate Modern, London and it was great. It is a shame that with our regular regime change, we destroy a lot of history but If someone ever opens a Museum of Iranian Propaganda in Iran, I might be tempted to donate this book after I’m dead.