Photography plays a critical role in the current protests in Iran, sparked by the death of 22-year old Jina Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police in September 2022. The protests and how photographic imagery is used in them are both part of a longer history of resistance and revolution in Iran. The repeated reproduction of specific photographic images has led to an iconization, which visualizes the ongoing struggle through focusing on the likenesses of concrete figures and memorializing those who have passed away. The circulation of photographic images of the protests, and of those injured or killed, has to be understood in the context of visual and photographic censorship by the Iranian regime. It can also be seen as a counterweight to the almost omnipresent state-sponsored imagery of religious leaders and war martyrs in the public sphere. Looking at the photographs related to the recent protests, sharing, printing, and publishing them is, therefore, an act of defiance and resistance in itself. While this engagement with the imagery obstructs any aim to distract from the violence taking place, it also raises questions regarding the selection and modification processes taking place. However, what is clear, is that the existence and reproduction of the photographs is not just an illustration in a media article, but rather a refusal to capitulate or to be made invisible. Lecture by Dr Mira Xenia Schwerda, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH).

Panel members:

Prof. Nacim Pak-Shiraz (chair; University of Edinburgh)

Prof. Andrew Patrizio (University of Edinburgh)

Prof. Ali Ansari (University of St Andrews)

Asst. Prof. Nancy Demerdash (Albion College)

A drinks reception will follow the panel. This event is presented by IASH and GENDER.ED.

Image Caption

ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo. All rights reserved.

  • Venue

    Old College, The University of Edinburgh

  • Address

    South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK

  • Price

    Free / Eventbrite

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