The Story of Gordafarid
(dir. Hadi Afarideh, 2008, 34 mins.) is a brief, poignant documentary about Fatemeh Habibizad, a.k.a. Gordafarid, a woman in Iran performing as a solo narrator of Persian classics. Gordafarid
is also an inspirational character
's 10th Century
epic, the Shahnameh
. [more inside]
This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org [more inside]
Iranian Human Rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh
, currently serving a 6 year term in Tehran’s Evin prison, for ‘violating the Islamic dress code’ and ‘for acting against national security’ as ended her second hunger strike
, when travel restrictions against her family were rescinded. [more inside]
"At an age at which I should be putting on a wedding dress, I am asking for someone's eyes to be dripped with acid,
Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of sulfuric acid over [Ameneh Bahrami's] head, leaving her blind and disfigured. Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker's eyes, acceding to Bahrami's demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out. [more inside]
It's hardly the case today
(unless you live in Iran
), but once upon a time, all
computer programmers were female
. While the (male) engineers who built ENIAC
, the world's first modern computer, became famous
, the six women who actually programmed ENIAC
have been largely overlooked. Now a team of researchers and programmers
is trying to raise money
to tell the story of these pioneering women in a new documentary, before it's too late. [more inside]
American-Dutch photographer Peter van Agtmael
and English photographer Olivia Arthur
are the two newest nominees recently welcomed into Magnum Photos
. Agtmael's images of Afghanistan and Iraq are very powerful - he discusses his work in Conscientious
. Arthur's recent work has focused on women's experiences in what she calls the Middle Distance
. [more inside]
is a Kurdish female name, meaning "love": Part      
It is important to take the current political situation
[NYT] in Iran in context. Shirin Ebadi
and Azar Nafisi
are two women who have written memoirs (Iran Awakening
and Reading Lolita in Tehran
, respectively) dealing with being a woman in the world's only theocracy
) Individual Iranians both commend and disagree with their portrayal
of Iran to Western audiences.
"[She] loved as in our age
People already do no longer; as only
The wild soul of a poet
Is still condemned to love"
Ever since her tragic death in a car accident in 1967, Forough Farrokhzad
has been drawing thousands of visitors to the Zahir-al-Doleh cemetery in Tehran. They come to lay flowers, recite poetry and light candles on the grave of the poet
who has become an inspiration to women not only in Iran
, but wherever women's rights are severely curtailed. If she had survived her car crash, the poet would have celebrated her seventieth birthday this year
. Farrokhzad was also a film director
: her documentary The House is Black
is considered a masterpiece by filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami
and Chris Marker
like Jonathan Rosenbaum
. More inside.
"I am a woman and I live in Iran. I am a photographer and this is the only thing I know how to do."
Women In Iran
With the slogan of "Women's Right Is Human Right", the website tries to tell the story of struggles, issues and successes of Iranian women, and in this way we would like to extend our hands to and welcome all those who believe in the social and intellectual equality of women and men.
is a global, on-line community designed to promote professional development of Afghani and Iranian women.
While there are a million blogs about cheese sandwiches and how lame fifth period trig class is, it's always great to hear when blogs actually help give a voice to those that never had one. Iranian women don't have much say in society, but thanks to blogs, they are now finding they have a voice
as they're read by thousands around the world. Of course they've still got some net censorship in Iran
, but this is a great start.
Motorbikes the new craze for Iranian Women.
More taboos crumble in Iran, as women sign-up in their thousands for motorbike riding classes. Women have been allowed to drive cars, but not ride bicycles or motorbikes since the Islamic Revoluion. The problem now is to find women motorcyclists able to train those who have shown interest.