Friday, July 03, 2009

A Persian Vigil

A Persian Vigil (for Marjane Satrapi)
Gregg Chadwick
A Persian Vigil (for Marjane Satrapi)
24"x48" oil on linen 2009

Tomorrow is the 4th of July in the United States. As I think in red, white and blue, more than a hint of green enters my thoughts. Today in the New York Times, Marjene Satrapi writes longingly and powerfully about her true home in Iran:

It’s likely needless to remind you that this was not the first time Iranians showed how much they love freedom. Look only at the 20th century: They launched the Constitutional Revolution of 1906 (the first in Asia); nationalized the oil industry in 1951 (the first Middle Eastern country to do so); mounted the revolution of 1979; and engineered the student revolt of 1999. Which brings us to now, and that deafening cry for democracy.

Almost 20 years ago, when I started studying art in Tehran, the very idea of “politics” was so frightening that we didn’t even dare think about it. To talk about it? Beyond belief!

To demonstrate in the streets against the president? Surreal!

Criticize the supreme leader? Apocalyptic!

Shouting “Down with Khamenei”? Death!

Death, torture and prison are part of daily life for the youth of Iran. They are not like us, my friends and I at their age; they are not scared. They are not what we were.

They hold hands and scream: “Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid! We are together!”

They understand that no one will give them their rights; they must go get them.

They understand that unlike the generation before them — my generation, for whom the dream was to leave Iran — the real dream is not to leave Iran but to fight for it, to free it, to love it and to reconstruct it.

-Marjane Satrapi:

Much more at:
I Must Go Home to Iran Again


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