Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: anti-america, bebsi bolitics, gadyanloo, iran, karim khan avenue, mehdi qadyanloo, murals, revolution, street art, tehran, twitter, us embassy, vanak square
I came across these charming trompe l’oeill murals on Wooster today, who say only that they are to be found on the streets of Tehran, Iran. The internet doesn’t say much either, except to suggest they are a collaboration between painter Mehdi Qadyanloo and city officials as part of a beautification drive. One that, of course, looks to spread hope, peace and other accoutrements through public art. This one in particular is on a building at Karim Khan Avenue; a particularly busy intersection of the city. It replaces a fairly infamous ‘Down With America’ mural that featured skulls and bombs in place of the stars and stripes.
In an AFP article – picked up off the wires only in Australia, strangely (or not so much) enough – muncipality official mohammed Reza Sharif Kazemi comments:
The plan is to make the crowded, traffic-congested, polluted capital of Iran lively with lasting and universally understood murals … the old murals still have a meaning as they symbolise events such as the ousting of the dictatorship (monarchy) and the war with Iraq … So it was natural for the city walls to show the world what had happened. But now the nation is progressing and we have to give a new message for a new generation. We have to show the world the depth of Iranian culture.
The particular bucolic frolic above, found at Vanak Square seems a particular favourite of Qadanyloo. All well and good, and at the same time a little sad, as some of the older pastel coloured martyr ones are quite beautiful. Sticking with former anti-american murals, though, take a dekko at some of these, from the former US embassy in Tehran.
I do wonder what the red outlined stars in the first picture signify, if anything. It turns out it’s also pretty hard to get these images without a few token burqa-ed women in the shot. Seems like there’s a lot of sweet non-commissioned tagging and street art going up around the city too; more on this later. In other non-Iranian government sanctioned activity, this New Yorker article touches on some interesting points with regards to last summer’s ‘Twitter Revolution’. It’s
1979 2009 okay / All across the, um, Islamic Republic of Iran..?
Images by Rana Wehbe/Gulf News
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