Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Televised musical performance in Iran

Philip Kantaros, who teaches at Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, PA, sent along a link to a Wall Street Journal article that offers some insight in Iranian cultural politics. You must subscribe to the Journal to get access to the whole article, but here's a bit of the essence and a link to The Iran Project's reposting of the WSJ article.

Something New on Iranian Television: Music: New President Seen Trying to Ease Most Zealous Enforcement of Islamic Codes
When Iranians tuned into state television for a day of special holiday programming recently, they were treated to a remarkable sight—for the Islamic Republic, anyway.

There, for all to see, was a performance by Avaye Parsian, a traditional Persian music band. It was the first time a full band had played instruments on state TV since 1979, when the Iranian revolution ushered in an arch-conservative regime that deemed such displays too irreverent for television.

Before the day was out there was more: The Pallett, a popular contemporary music band, appeared on a late-night show called Radio 7 in an equally daring way for a jazz or rock band.

They didn't actually play instruments, but they did exuberantly pretend to—air band style…
The Pallett pretending to play their music

Saman Alipour, the 25-year-old founder of Avaye Parsian, said the band wasn't even aware they would be shown on television until their live performance was over. Mr. Alipour… said they had assumed it would be the usual television appearance where they played in the studio while nature photos and abstract designs are shown on TV…

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