The daily pan-Arabic newspaper Ashark al Awsat reports that changes are introduced gradually among the citizens of Iran – despite official bans and censorship. The article describes how there are two worlds in the country – contradicting each other and yet existing side by side.
Mohammed Hossien Saffar Harandi, the current minister of guidance and culture in Iran, have a rather negative view on music. According to Ashark al Awsat, one of his missions is to combat music that is “against the values of the Republic of Iran” – such as rock and rap. Instead he encourages musicians to produce “meaningful music”. This is how some musicians created a “nuclear symphony”, supporting Iran’s nuclear programme.
One way to find the illegal material is through the internet. Today Iran has around 10 million internet users and the number is rising. Bands can create their own website and let people download their music for free. This is how underground artists get known. Also the underground music video scene is becoming more and more popular. Here the fans can see the artists dance to their music – something that is prohibited in concerts permitted by the authorities.
Bypassing the censors
Ashark al Awsat – 26 May 2007
‘Iran’s Underground Music Revolution’