Artful Resistance: A Selection of Post-Iranian Election Design Online


The Tehran Bureau has accumulated a smattering of post-Iranian election design that was created by netizens in an effort to raise awareness about voter fraud in Iran. The resulting works are fascinating since they fuse global internet culture, contemporary Iranian design and pseudo-religious elements, particularly Shiite notions of martyrdom.

postelection02Analyzing the images, the allusions to Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster designs are the most obvious. Fairey has successfully forged a visual style that represents “change”–whether real or otherwise. Paste Magazine‘s Obamicon program has popularized the aesthetic for netizens and the magazine has even begun an Iranicon version of the same online app, which they describe as “an Obamicon-like image using the colors of Iran.”

postelection01There are a number of works that reference traditional West Asian calligraphic styles but also elements of Iranian modernist design from the pre-Revolution period.

postelection03While some people are attributing to technology the role of savior of Iran’s “democracy,” that optimism has been tempered by a major critique of multinational companies and their role in educating the Iranian government about how best to crackdown on electronic dissent. Most of the venom–judging by these images–is directed towards Nokia, the company which worked with Iranian authorities directly on this matter.

postelection05There is a category of images I’d classify as “artistic.” Passionate and jarring, these are done by creative types and range from the obvious to subtle. The prevalence of the woman as martyr symbolism directly references the martyrdom of Neda.

postelection06There are also a few that reference the world of fine art. It always amazes me how Goya’s The Shootings of May 3 (1808) continues to inspire after all this time. There is an immediacy to the image that resonates through the ages.

Whole article: ARTFUL REISTANCE here.

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