Iran and the Middle East

Foreign Policy and Domestic Change

by Fred Halliday
published in MER220

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Nature Has No Culture

The Photographs of Abbas Kiarostami

by Shiva Balaghi , Anthony Shadid
published in MER219

In April 2000, Abbas Kiarostami received the Akira Kurosawa Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Francisco Film Festival. While in the United States, Kiarostami visited New York City, where the Andrea Rosen Gallery mounted the first US exhibition of Kiarostami’s photographs. The photographs, which were shown in a stark white loft space, appeared without titles, dates or labels. Anthony Shadid and Shiva Balaghi spoke with Kiarostami about his art photography.

Iranian Cinema

Art, Society and the State

by Ziba Mir-Hosseini
published in MER219

Following the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the inauguration of the Islamic Republic, many predicted that new restrictions would kill off Iran's cinema. But Iranian film has survived, undergoing remarkable transformations in parallel with the wider changes in Iranian culture and society. Today, Iranian cinema is recognized as one of the most innovative and exciting in the world, and films from Iranian directors are being screened to increasing acclaim at international festivals. The key to resolving the apparent contradiction between Iran's repressive image and the renaissance of Iranian cinema is to understand the relationship that developed between art, society and the state after the Islamic revolution.

The Rise and Fall of Fa'ezeh Hashemi

Women in Iranian Elections

by Ziba Mir-Hosseini
published in MER218

Both politics and women’s political activities are radically different under the Islamic Republic of Iran from what they were before the 1979 Revolution. But one fundamental fact has not changed: Politics is still the domain of men, and women who enter the field tend to be related -- either by blood or by marriage -- to prominent men. Most women politicians are hostages, vulnerable to the political fortunes of men, and only a few have managed to break free. This vulnerability is revealed during parliamentary elections, when in some ways it parallels the vulnerability of the people as a whole, who have been treated as political minors by the theocratic power elite.

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“Our Letter to Khatami Was a Farewell”

An Interview with Saeed Razavi-Faqih

by Kaveh Ehsani | published July 15, 2003

Iranian Documentary Cinemas between Reality and Fiction

by Persheng Vaziri
published in MER225

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Last Efforts of Iran's Reformers

by Ali Rezaei
published in MER226

Student demonstrations in December 2002 revealed yet again the depth of public sentiment favoring political and economic reform in Iran. But the loose coalition of reformists under the leadership of President Mohammad Khatami has been unable to harness this “reserve power of revolution” to push its program through to fruition. Crises engendered by the conservatives, a persistent sense of encirclement by foreign enemies and the reformists’ own failures have all contributed to the Iranian impasse.

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