Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Neda is not dead. This government is dead!": A Day of Mourning in Iran & Around the World

Behesht-e Zahra / Tehran today - July 30, 2009 / Zahra Rhanvard (Mousavi's Wife) #iranelection #neda #sohrab

The Call - ندا -Neda
The Call - ندا -Neda

40 days after Neda Agha Soltan's murder, thousands of Iranians have gathered at the graves of those killed by Ahmadinejad's government. Today, at least 3,000 mourners pushed past riot squads to lay flowers on Neda's grave. A chant heard at Behesht-e Zahra cemetery today declared, "Neda is not dead. This government is dead." The Los Angeles Times reports that the security forces, after an initial flurry of arrests in and around Behest Zahra, retreated from the growing crowd. Noted Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi, Mahnaz Mohammadi, and Rokhsare Ghaem Maghami were briefly arrested then released.

Enduring America reports:

Etemade Melli has an account of Mehdi Karroubi’s appearance at the memorial, including the resistance of mourners when security forces accosted him, and of his speech. The English translation, courtesy of Mani:

Karroubi walked towards Neda Agha Soltan’s resting place, surrounded by a large group of people. The special forces attacked him and tried to disperse and separate the people from “the reform sheikh” [Karroubi] by beating them with clubs and pepper spray. The police encountered stiff resistance from the people, and Karroubi held his ground and stated strongly that he is staying in this place.

Karroubi sat beside Neda Agha Soltan’s grave and accompanied the people by reading the Fateheh [the prayer for the dead] for Neda. The Prayer was read with protest intonations. Afterwards Hojjatoleslam Hadi Ghaffari joined Karroubi and spoke to the people for a few minutes. During Karroubi’s speech, the security forces had a conflict with the people and arrested some individuals. These forces were confronted with slogans like “let him go, let him go” and flowers by the people [police presumably released those arrested].

Mehdi Karroubi, after spending an hour with the people, moved to the exit and his vehicle, accompanied by a large number of people chanting

From the Los Angeles Times: "Thousands of protesters continue to mourn Neda Agha-Soltan and other protester deaths in Iran. Amateur video taken near Behesht Zahra cemetery shows an endless sea of mourners chanting Mir-Hossein Mousavi's name, waving green pieces of fabric, and holding up victory signs."

Today in Tehran - July 30, 2009 - On the Metro to Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery
From the Los Angeles Times: "Protesters have been making use of the metro system, which runs next to Behesht Zahra. Here, protesters riding the metro chant "Death to Russia" and "Death to China" to the tune used to support the Esteghlal soccer club in Tehran."

What's next in Iran? Khamenei will officially endores Ahmadinejad as President on August 3rd, the inauguration at Majlis will be held on August 5th. Huge protests are expected

Much more at:
IRAN: Crowd of thousands overwhelms security forces
the latest from iran 30 julymemorial-day

Monday, July 27, 2009

United for Iran Rally - Los Angeles - July 25, 2009

Sussan Deyhim
Originally uploaded by gregg chadwick
Sussan Deyhim sings at the United for Iran Rally at UCLA on July 25, 2009. Sussan Deyhim's set was the most soul stirring moment of the evening. I could feel Rumi under the evening sky. A crescent moon hung above us giving this gathering for Iran a celestial blessing.

United for Iran - UCLA- July 25, 2009 - Crowd with Sussan Deyshim Onstage

WeWant Freedom for Iran - Rally at UCLA - July 25, 2009


Freedom for Iran Rally - UCLA July 25, 2009

Due per Mio Fratello: Streets of Fire & Born in the USA - Udine - July 23, 2009

Springsteen and the E Street Band
Born in the USA
Udine, Italia July 23, 2009

Springsteen and the E Street Band
Streets of Fire
Udine, Italia July 23, 2009

Due per mio fratello!

My brother Kent has an amazing piece in the Bainbridge Review:

"My son Luke has been a great example to me of living right side up. Luke’s never met someone he didn’t want to greet. Over his 22 years of constant illness Luke has perfected living for today. Luke’s greatest joy is in making someone smile."

"What Luke shows me is that living right side up spreads blessings all around you. He makes you feel good. So the whole community rejoiced when he had a successful double-lung transplant last year and had 12 great months of walking and feeling strong. He’s had serious setbacks this last month and is recovering slowly over at the University of Washington Medical Center. Knowing the greatness and fragility of life as it shines in Luke makes me want to share in it, right side up."
- Kent Chadwick

More at:
Right Side Up
Jimmy Buff's

Charlie Chaplin's Final Speech in the "Great Dictator" subtitled in Farsi

Charlie Chaplin's Final Speech in the "Great Dictator" subtitled in Farsi

From the New York Times lede blog:
Watching Charlie Chaplin in Tehran
In a brief update on Friday, the Twitter feed IranRiggedElect says that the video embedded below, of Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in the 1940 film “The Great Dictator” with Farsi subtitles, is popular on Iranian social networks at the moment. In this scene, Chaplin’s character addresses a fascist rally, while impersonating an Adolf Hitler-like leader, and denounces militarism and dictatorship:

Amid signs that Iran’s military may be increasing its power, it is not hard to imagine why supporters of Iran’s opposition might be heartened by Chaplin's speech calling on soldiers to “fight for liberty.”

A sidenote, Portrait of Charlie Chaplin by the French artist Fernand Léger

from Léger & Murphy's Ballet Mécanique

More at:
Cubist Charlie Chaplin, Fernand Leger (1923-4)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Supporters of the Iranian people in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Ouagadougou, originally uploaded by United4Iran.

U2 in Solidarity with Artists 4 Freedom in Iran - Sunday Bloody Sunday Live in Dublin

U2 performing Sunday Bloody Sunday during their 360 degrees world tour in Dublin on July, 24th, 2009.

As the song Sunday Bloody Sunday opens, U2 now scrolls the lyrics from the Rumi poem Azadi. The word Azadi itself simply means Freedom. U2 is supporting Artists 4 Freedom by using the Rumi poem which provides the lyrics to Dj Spooky and Sussan Deyhim's new track, Azadi (The New Complexity). U2's multimedia screens mash together the lyrics to Azadi along with photos of the protestors in Iran and artworks by Shirin Neshat. Inspiring stuff.

Azadi (The New Complexity) is a song based on a classic poem by Rumi, one of the poet laureates of Iran’s still vibrant poetic legacy.

Here is the original poem translated into English

by Rumi

i crave
flowers and gardens

open your lips
i crave
the taste of honey

come out from
behind the clouds
i desire a sunny face

your voice echoed
saying “leave me alone”
i wish to hear your voice
again saying “leave me alone”

i swear this city without you
is a prison
i am dying to get out
to roam in deserts and mountains

i am tired of
flimsy friends and
submissive companions

i am blue hearing
nagging voices and meek cries
i desire loud music
drunken parties and
wild dances

one hand holding
a cup of wine
one hand caressing your hair
then dancing in orbital circle
that is what i yearn for

i can sing better than any nightingale
but because of
this city’s freaks
i seal my lips
while my heart weeps

yesterday the wisest man
holding a lit lantern
in daylight
was searching around town saying

i am tired of
all these beast and brutes
i seek
a true human

we have all looked
for one but
no one could be found
they said

yes he replied
but my search is
for the one
who cannot be found

Read more: DJ Spooky & Sussan Deyhim - Azadi - The New Complexity
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

Make Your Voice Heard
Paintings for Iran

Artists 4 Freedom is international in scope and is located between London, Barcelona, Lisbon and Berlin.
Link Below:
Artists 4 Freedom

As a member of Artists 4 Freedom, I ask you to create a poem, a painting, a song for Iran and join the cause. The world is coming together in support of Iran.

(And a special message to Little Steven. Little Steven is touring right now as a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. But Little Steven is also an amazing political songwriter who helped bring down apartheid in South Africa with his song Sun City and openly dreamed of a free Berlin, when others labeled him as naive, in his heartbreaking song Checkpoint Charlie. Little Steven, Artists 4 Freedom needs you to write a song for Freedom in Iran.)

United 4 Iran: We Can Be Heroes - July 25, 2009

Green Scroll Unveiled in Paris - July 25, 2009

David Bowie's "Heroes" for the people of Iran. Amsterdam rallies - July 25, 2009

To the People of Iran: "We have heard your voices. We are with you!"
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Reza Aslan - "Stand Up for Iran"

Shirin Ebadi - Message of Support for Iran

Paintings for Iran

Artists 4 Freedom is international in scope and is located between London, Barcelona, Lisbon and Berlin.
Link Below:
Artists 4 Freedom

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Make Your Voice Heard

Make Your Voice Heard
Paintings for Iran

Artists 4 Freedom is international in scope and is located between London, Barcelona, Lisbon and Berlin.
Link Below:
Artists 4 Freedom

United 4 Iran Presents Arts Program for Peace at UCLA

United 4 Iran Presents Arts Program for Peace at UCLA

Jul 25 2009 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Free to the public
UCLA Bruin Plaza
308 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles CA 90024

United4Iran event at UCLA
Desmond Tutu and other Nobel Peace Laureates, Iranian Poets and Artists Support July 25th Global Day of Action Protests in Iran Continue - Global Activism Increasing

In Los Angeles a coalition of student organizations,, Levantine Cultural Center and others are presenting an evening of music, poetry, speeches and solidarity messages on Saturday, July 25, from six to nine pm. Among the presents/performers are Sussan Deyhim, Maz Jobrani, Mamak Khadem and Naked Rhythm.

A press release from United4Iran quotes several prominent leaders and others:

"We deplore the violence and crackdown on peaceful protesters, the increasing restrictions on civil liberties, and the imprisonment of a growing number of civil leaders in Iran. " —Archbishop Destmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1984

"If one country sincerely wants to support democracy in another country that is under dictatorial rule, the only thing to do is to support the freedom fighters who stand for the democratic institutions of that country. Done this way, the sapling of democracy will bear the flower of freedom." —Shirin Ebadi, Iranian human rights activist, Nobel Peace Laureate, 2003

"The Iranian leadership is violating the country's own commitments to international human rights treaties, as well as contravening Iran's own laws." —Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1976

"We call for the release of all political prisoners, the secession of violence against protesters, and respect for human rights and civil liberties in Iran." —Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1997

The two most prominent living Iranian poets, Ismael Khoie, and Simin Behbahani, who lives in Tehran, have joined the Global Day of Action. Dariush, socially conscious singer and Iranian cultural icon, will perform at the Washington D.C. United4Iran rally.

Desmond Tutu, Shirin Ebadi, Mairead Maguire and Jody Williams are available for interviews.

Los Angeles and more then 55 cities around the world solidarity rallies are planned in support of civil and human rights for the Iranian people and for an end to the violence. Check for a full list of participating cities and supporting organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Nobel Women's Initiative and Peacejam

I am eager to share with you an interview I did with Artists 4 Freedom on my paintings for Iran.
Artists 4 Freedom is international in scope and is located between London, Barcelona, Lisbon and Berlin,
Here's the link. Please feel free to comment on the site.
Artists 4 Freedom

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Iranian Singer Maral's Haunting Song for Neda

Sung by Iranian Singer Maral

As the protests simmer and rage in Tehran, the arts in Iran are exploding and seeking solidarity with the outside world. The response to my paintings concerning the recent events in Iran has been strong and dialogues have begun to emerge. The website Bar-Ex picked up my interview on my paintings for Iran and I was privileged to hear a broad array of new important music from Behind the Iran curtain.

I am reminded of the band "The Plastic People" and the works of playwright Václav Havel in Czechoslovakia and their artistic efforts to break down their Iron Curtain. In Iran today we have the singer Maral who has created a haunting and powerful song for the memory of Neda, who was murdered last month by the Basij on the streets of Tehran. Fittingly, Maral also lends vocals to the band,"The Plastic Wave."

In Maral's lyric "Neda screams through her eyes of her pain" as Maral "cries of her own pain through Neda's name."
The word Neda means "the call" in farsi or at times evokes the idea of "the voice."

I wrote Maral not long ago and expressed to her my dream that one day soon she may sing her song for Neda beneath my painting The Call - ندا -Neda in a newly free Iran.

The Call - ندا -Neda
The Call - ندا -Neda
Gregg Chadwick
36"x48" oil on linen 2009
Courtesy- Look Gallery, Los Angeles

Much more at:
Bar=Ex - New Iranian Music

Jimmy Carter Stands Up for Women's Rights

Losing my religion for equality
Jimmy Carter
July 15, 2009
from The Age

Deep Song
Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

A Persian Vigil (for Marjane Satrapi)

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."

Speed of Life

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world's major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

U2 Features Images of Iran in Concert

U2 Amsterdam July 21, 2009, originally uploaded by

U2 adds images of the protests in Iran to the live presentation of Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

U2 Now Scrolls Rumi Poem Azadi in Solidarity With Artists 4 Freedom

More shots at:
U2 Log

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grünes Berlin

U2 Paints Berlin green for Iran
(Sunday Bloody Sunday for Iran - Live in Berlin - July 18, 2009)

U2 Now Scrolls Rumi Poem Azadi in Solidarity With Artists 4 Freedom

Artists 4 Freedom in support of Iran:
Artists 4 Freedom

Text of the Rumi Poem Here:
U2 Scrolls Rumi Poem During Barcelona Concert

July 7, 2009 Video in Milan Can Be Found Here:
U2Goes Green Again for Iran in Milan

The Call - ندا -Neda

"Our private lives continuously intersect with the history of our time."
-Huston Smith

An Angel Hits the Ground

U2 Performs "Faraway, So Close" Live in Berlin - July 18, 2009
(Cassiel this one is for you! Nous sommes embarque.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gregg Chadwick Interview With "Artists 4 Freedom"

I am eager to share with you an interview I did with Artists 4 Freedom on my paintings for Iran.
Artists 4 Freedom is international in scope and is located between London, Barcelona, Lisbon and Berlin,

Here's the link. Please feel free to comment on the site.

Artists 4 Freedom

They are doing important work.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bono and Edge on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross

Bono and Edge appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross
In the first segment check out Bono as he squirms "Stop! Oh, no!" when Ross airs a clip of U2 doing "Street Mission" on TV in 1978. The highlight of the second segment is the story of Barack Obama's witty comment to Bono at a prayer breakfast in DC when Bono attempted to evade then President Bush's photo op. Obama's words to Bono,"Nice work with the hug dodge."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rafsanjani,"Leave the people if they do not want you."

Influential cleric and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani delivers his sermon during Friday prayers at Tehran University

The complete video of Rafsanjani's sermon is available on YouTube. All of the clips are posted here:
Voice of Democratic Iran: Khandaniha

From Nico Pitney at Huffington Post:

Rafsanjani's most important line? Via email, Portland State University professor R. Kevin Hill writes:

There was subtext and not-so-sub-subtext in several of Rafsanjani's remarks, based on the transcript of a live-blogger (caveats about accuracy, accuracy of translation, etc.) excerpt of which follows. If this is accurate, and I'm reading the oblique sermon style correctly, he's articulating a principle of popular sovereignty and calling on the government to resign. I've highlighted the crucial remark:

"The Imam [Khomeini] would always quote the Prophet [Muhammad] who would say to Ali [Muhammad's successor]: leave the people if they do not want you.

From Ian Black at the Guardian:

Tehran University's prayer hall has been the stage for high drama since the early days of the Islamic revolution, and Hashemi Rafsanjani'sappearance today was another of many electrifying moments in Iran's recent history.

Surrounded by heavy security under the cantilevered roof, the former president spoke out in public for the first time since last month's disputed election, warning that the country was "in crisis."

That may be a statement of the blindingly obvious – but it carries force precisely because of Rafsanjani's special place in Iranian politics: he is both hugely influential and deeply unpopular, a bitter rival of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and – crucially – one of the surviving giants of the revolutionary era.

Whatever he said, his very presence at such a tense time would have guaranteed rapt attention – one reason why his sermon was not, as is usual, broadcast live on state TV whose cameras are mounted permanently in the university mosque.

The sense of excitement was heightened because of the presence of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims to have beaten Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 12 June and who rejects the election result as "illegitimate." His fellow candidate, the reformist cleric Mehdi Karoubi, was also there.

Rafsanjani's calls to restore trust by releasing prisoners, freeing the media, using only legal means, and by dialogue between opposition and the regime, were couched in the language of legitimacy and justice. "Don't let our enemies laugh at us by putting people in prison," the cleric urged. "We must search for unity to find a way out of our quandary."

Specific proposals had been laid before the expediency council (an advisory body to the supreme leader) he said, a reminder that he has a real role to play.

"His demands were in line with what the reformists want but he did not explicitly challenge the legitimacy of the Ahmadinejad government," concluded one veteran Iranian political analyst. "This was an effort to play the role of power-broker – the role that Khamenei should have played but did not."

Rafsanjani also stressed the importance of the "republic" in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a deliberate riposte to those hardliners who stand accused of planning an Islamic dictatorship. His references to Ayatollah Khomeni praised the late leader's positive attitude towards ordinary people – a clear invitation to make an unflattering comparison with Khamenei.

The sermon was not an overt challenge to the regime, but it did graphically underline the divisions he was warning about: as he was speaking the crowd burst into competing slogans of "death to the dictator" and "death to opponents". No one could have had any doubt who was who. Predictably, trouble erupted in the streets immediately afterwards.

Normally, Friday prayers at Tehran University are a showcase for the regime, which makes sure that thousands of its loyal supporters are bussed in to fill the hall and shout familiar slogans: death to America, death to Israel, and other favourites. That makes it a regular port of call for foreign journalists, invited to witness the peculiarly Iranian combination of religion and politics, prayer and agitprop. Foreign media coverage has been drastically reduced as part of the post-election crackdown. But profound divisions, not defiant unity, are now on open display.

Much more at:
Nico Pitney on the Uprising in Iran - Huffington Post

The Song - ترانه - Taraneh
“Listen to the reeds as they sway apart,
hear them speak of lost friends.”

Videos of Protest in Iran - Friday Prayers - July 17, 2009

Video of Rafsanjani's Speech Linked Here:
Rafsanjani Video - July 17, 2009

RT @jimsciuttoABC Cellphone vid of 2day's protests, cn hear chants of 'Allah Akhbar' Video of July 17, 2009 #iranelection #rafsanjani

RT @france7776: AP: Rafsanjani got tears in eyes said how prophet Mohammad respected the rights of ppl #iranelection #iran #tehran #gr88

onlymehdi describes the image as "President Mousavi in the Friday Prayers" - July 17, 2009

The Song - ترانه - Taraneh
“Listen to the reeds as they sway apart,
hear them speak of lost friends.”

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apollo 11 Astronauts Land on the Moon 40 Years Ago Today

Photograph courtesy NASA

From National Geographic:

"Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin deploys a foil sheet for collecting solar particles near the Eagle lunar lander in July 1969. July 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. Today Aldrin advocates a return to space targeted at Mars and other long-distance exploration missions."

I am listening to Clint Mansell's haunting score to Duncan Jones' film Moon.
It seems fitting 40 years after Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon that a richly nuanced and psychologically motivated film has been created by the son of the man who gave us Space Oddity in November 1969 in the wake of the first moon landing.

The score is available now on itunes :
Clint Mansell - Moon - Soundtrack to the Film
More on Moon at:
AppleTrailers for ipod - Moon

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Song - ترانه - Taraneh

The Song - ترانه - Taraneh 12"x12" oil on wood 2009
The Song - ترانه - Taraneh
Gregg Chadwick
12"x12" oil on wood 2009

"First there was Neda. Then there was Sohrab. Now there is Taraneh."

"The names and stories of the Iranians who have been brutalized or killed in the aftermath of the post-election protests are gradually seeping into a memorial vault of the faces of suffering and endurance in the name of sociopolitical reform.

One by one, the faces of protest are providing an essential yearbook of the individuals who comprise the protest masses, and a catalogue of the Iranian government's treatment of political activists.

On Friday July 19, a large group of mourners gathered at the Ghoba mosque in Tehran to await a speech about the martyrs of the post-election protests by presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. According to one Iranian blog, 28-year-old Taraneh Mousavi was one of a group of people that was arrested by plainclothesed security forces for attending the gathering.

Taraneh, whose first name is Persian for "song", disappeared into arrest."
-Shirin Sadeghi

The full, sad story at:
Taraneh: Prison Abuse of Iran's Protesters

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nods from Le Figaro and the Los Angeles Times

Delphine Minoui

Thanks to Delphine Minoui in Tehran for Le Figaro and also Jahd Khalil in Beirut for the Los Angeles Times for linking to my post on Rumi and U2.

Both Delphine Minoui's site Chroniques Orientales, which is decribed by Le Figaro:

"Le blog de Delphine Minoui, correspondante du Figaro à Téhéran, répond à l'envie d'aller au-delà des titres effrayants de l'actualité. Il donne la parole aux hommes et aux femmes qui rythment le quotidien du Moyen-Orient."

and Jahd Khalil's site Babylon & Beyond provide important information and insight into Iran and the Middle East. I am indebted to their journalistic bravery, The pen is truly mightier than the sword.
Below is a bit of Jahd Kahlil's post:

The text reads “Listen! Listen! Listen!” which one blogger attributed to "The Song of the Reed Flute," by famous Persian poet Jalaladdin Rumi.

Persian poetry and Rumi in particular are some of the strongest sources of Iranian national pride.

The history of a violent crackdown behind the original song coupled with Rumi adds some intellectual weight to the visual spectacle of a rock concert.

It looks like the selection of the work itself was not coincidental. A reading of the poem suggests allusions to the violent crackdown in Iran as well as the disputed elections:

“Listen to the reeds as they sway apart,
hear them speak of lost friends.”

“This reed bends to spent lovers and friends,
its song and its word break the veil…”

More at:
IRAN: U2's green-tinted tributes to Iranian protesters

Weapons of Beauty - U2 Goes Green Again For Iran - "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in Paris & Thoughts on Sussan Deyhim and Shirin Neshat

U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday in Green for Iran (Live 12 July 2009 @ Stade de France, Paris)

In their latest series of concerts before U2 breaks into Sunday Bloody Sunday, the Iranian artist Sussan Deyhim's track Beshno Az Ney can be heard. (Unfortunately it does not appear on the videos I have found. If you come across a version that includes Sussan Deyhim's intro please let me know.)
You can find the track here on itunes:
Sussan Deyhim's Beshno Az Ney

U2 Now Scrolls Rumi Poem Azadi in Solidarity With Artists 4 Freedom

Sussan Deyhim's haunting vocals grace the soundtracks to many of the moving films of Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat.

In an interview with Tyler Green, Shirin Neshat said,"I try to find beauty in the middle of the horror, and vice versa," she says. "Sometimes, really horrible things — you can turn into a weapon of beauty."

Sussan Deyhim and Shirin Neshat
Logic of the Birds

Shirin Neshat
b/w RC print and ink
photo: Larry Burns
Courtesy Barbara Gladstone

From Le Figaro:
Après Barcelone et Milan, le groupe de rock irlandais était au Stade de France, ce 12 juillet. Pendant le concert, la scène était inondée de lumière verte, tandis qu'un poème de Rumi - poète soufi du 13ème siècle - défilait au rythme de « Sunday, bloody Sunday » (une chanson très symbolique, puisque composée à la suite d'une répression violente contre un rassemblement pacifique au Nord de l'Irlande).

Text of the Rumi Poem Here:
U2 Scrolls Rumi Poem During Barcelona Concert

July 7, 2009 Video in Milan Can Be Found Here:
U2Goes Green Again for Iran in Milan

The Call - ندا -Neda

"Our private lives continuously intersect with the history of our time."
-Huston Smith

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet !

Rue Mosnier with Flags
"Rue Mosnier with Flags"
Édouard Manet
25 3/4 x 31 3/4 in. oil on canvas 1878
Getty Museum, Los Angeles
photo by Gregg Chadwick

Édouard Manet's "Rue Mosnier" was painted two years before July 14th was declared the French national holiday in 1880. The holiday is known as the Fête Nationale in France and commemorates the Fête de la Fédération of 1790, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris by an angry mob on 14 July 1789, sparking the revolution that rid France of its monarchy. Manet painted the scene as if he is looking down from his second story studio onto the flag decked street below. Manet's brush is fluid and the color scintillating but the weary amputee on crutches, perhaps a war veteran from the disastrous Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, is the figure with which we enter the painting. In essence we as viewers enter the scene carrying a ladder just behind the man on crutches bearing the "costs and sacrifices" of nationalism and national pride. With this in mind, the swirling strokes of red, white and blue that make up the French tricolor flag are not as joyous as a cursory glance would suggest.

And also on this Bastille Day, I look forward to a future Evin Day in Tehran, when that horrible prison is at last closed down.
In the United States and France we celebrate our freedoms and our revolutions and we remember the brave souls fighting with words - tweets and blogs - against tyranny in Iran.

From the Getty's description of Manet's " Rue Mosnier with Flags":
" The French government declared June 30, 1878, a national holiday: Fête de la Paix (Celebration of Peace) which marked France's recovery from the Franco-Prussian War and the divisive Paris Commune that followed.

The urban street was a principal subject of Impressionist and Modernist painting; many artists aimed to show not only the transformation and growth of the Industrial Age but how it also affected society. Manet's eyes saw both elegant passengers in hansom cabs and, in the foreground, a worker carrying a ladder."

Modernkicks has more on the birth of Liberté.

Bonne fête !

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Joan Baez at Santa Monica Pier: An Evening in Green Under a Violet Sky

Joan Baez
Santa Monica Pier July 9, 2009
photo by Gregg Chadwick

We Shall Overcome w/ Verse in Farsi for Iran
Joan Baez
Santa Monica Pier
July 9, 2009

Eleanor Antin's Classical Frieze at LACMA

"Pompeii, especially, with its grand murals and flourishing gardens haunted by the dark shadow of Vesuvius, has always suggested uncomfortable parallels with our contemporary world, especially here in Southern California, where the sunlit life also turns out to have dark shadows in which failure and death lurk at the edge of consciousness. Now, in these times, we have even closer parallels with those ancient, beautiful, affluent people living the good life on the verge of annihilation."
—Eleanor Antin on Classical Frieze

Eleanor Antin
The Artist's Studio from "The Last
Days of Pompeii," 2001 (detail)
chromogenic print
46 5/6 x 58 5/8 inches

Eleanor Antin
The Tree from "The Last
Days of Pompei," 2001
chromogenic print
60 x 48 inches

Eleanor Antin's film and photo work, Classical Frieze, re-imagines Pompeii and the classical Roman world as if seen through the eyes of a contemporary filmmaker paying homage to the sword and sandal film epics of the 1950's which are then viewed through a scrim of French neoclassical painting from the 1800's. Eleanor Antin's work was chosen to illuminate a contemporary viewpoint or perhaps fantasy of the Roman world and is featured alongside LACMA'S current exhibition Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples.

Art21 on PBS describes Eleanor as "a cultural chameleon, masquerading in theatrical or stage roles to expose her many selves." Eleanor has a long and influential record as a visual and performance artist, as well as a filmmaker and photographer. Eleanor Antin "delves into history—whether of ancient Rome, the Crimean War, the salons of nineteenth-century Europe, or her own Jewish heritage and Yiddish culture—as a way to explore the present. "

I find Eleanor's Classical Frieze to be lightly provocative and very humorous. At the same time, the work which is ravishing in its color reminds me of the rich chroma in David Lynch's Blue Velvet. In that film and Antin's work, as Eleanor suggests," the sunlit life also turns out to have dark shadows in which failure and death lurk at the edge of consciousness" Antin sees that "Pompeii, especially, with its grand murals and flourishing gardens haunted by the dark shadow of Vesuvius, has always suggested uncomfortable parallels with our contemporary world, especially here in Southern California, ... Now, in these times, we have even closer parallels with those ancient, beautiful, affluent people living the good life on the verge of annihilation."

"Pompeii and the Roman Villa illustrates how the Trojan War and the death and wandering of the great Greek heroes were the moral and aesthetic tropes of Roman culture. Whereas for us, the romance of the Roman Empire, with its deliciously decadent affluence and military power, lies deep in modern Western consciousness. The great 19th-century colonial powers that preceded us saw themselves as the new Rome, bringing civilization to primitive peoples, not unlike the way we see ourselves today. At the same time, we are uneasy and haunted by the great empire that owned but then lost the world."

Art:21 | Eleanor Antin | Inventing Histories

May 14, 2009–October 4, 2009 | LACMA - Art of the Americas Building