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Theater house protest in front of the parliament instead of Ministry! WHY?/ Are the rest of art guilds breaking their silence?/ Hossein Hashempoor and 7 points

Theater house protest in front of the parliament instead of Ministry! WHY?/ Are the rest of art guilds breaking their silence?/ Hossein Hashempoor and 7 points

TEHRAN. (Iranart) –It was obvious that one day artists would take to the streets and hold a protest rally to voice their protest. Because they have been feeling for years that their voices are not being heard by the authorities who should be heard And who does not know how dangerous such a feeling is...


The protest rally of the theater community against the dire living conditions and the failure of their union demands was headlined in the media with sentences that left eyes of every Iranian in tears; where they wrote and told to the parliament: "Deadly moments are passing on the homeless nation of Iran. Mourning does not subside for a moment, cheap death is insecure in the work of destruction and suppression of the people who are your guardians ..." Yes, the theater is supposed to be the voice of people, and now that the scenes are forced to be empty, in a completely union street gathering, the artists shouted the public pain before making their demands on the ground for decades.


The protest of theatre community, which was organized at the invitation of the Theater House, is a very rare event in the history of Iranian art; In recent years, artists on virtual social networks have often reacted to all sorts of events of the day, but this is perhaps the first time that they have found a direct presence on the street to make their voices heard. A form of civil and legal protest that has spread all over the country these days, from workers and retirees to the losers, who gather every day in the capital and in all parts of Iran to demand their rights in the media. Of course, about four years ago, on April 11, 2016, a group of visual arts families, at the invitation of the Painters' Association, held a protest rally in front of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in protest of the transfer of this museum to the Roudaki Foundation; Earlier, filmmakers had protested in front of the Ministry of Guidance in response to the closure of the cinema house, but the recent gathering of theater goers certainly had a different side: The growing influence of information in cyberspace and the raising of livelihood issues and the explicit criticism of the officials' actions made this protest special and more visible.


The venue for the first gathering of the show was surprising; the artists went in front of the parliament and not the Ministry of Guidance!

Many of these artists have supported the current president in the last two elections, and some in particular have spared no effort to persuade the people to vote and participate in the "Rouhani 1400" campaign; Hence, their refuge in the parliament and their disregard for the government exposed the unspoken words of the artistic community. The theater society made this controversial choice clear in the opening and closing paragraphs of their statement. At first they wrote: "Mothers are waiting for a hand from the unseen to save the lives of their children from the dark tomorrow that has befallen them. Because so far nothing has been done by their government officials." In the end, they explicitly stated: "Now that the government is hopeless, The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance ... is not trying to get out of this crisis, it is time for your examination..."

However, on Thursday, January 9, the Etemad newspaper, in an article titled "Come down", spread some rumors about the choice of the location of the protest rally. Etemad first wrote: "Representatives of the Seventeen Associations of the Theater House went to the parliament under the guidance of the CEO (one of the advisers to the current Speaker of Parliament during the previous elections), and it seems that this hint was not enough, because a few paragraphs later emphasized: "It should be noted that behind the gathering of theaters in front of the parliament, the flaws of the election negotiations and such cases are prominent ..."

But the people of the theater, for their part, showed in this statement that if they are not happy with the government and the evils of these seven years, they also complain a lot about the members of parliament, where they write: "This riot is the protest and litigation of thousands of families of the noble art of Iranian theater. We know that few of you have ever come to the theater to see a valuable and excellent show. "You do not know the artists of your theater, while they are from this land, not your foreign enemies..."


The list of criticisms and grievances of the big family of Iranian theater addressed to the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly and its representatives should not be limited to the shortcomings of the theater, they wrote that they are tired of all the conditions of the country's art: "Tell us, what have you done for the flourishing of the language, poetry, stories and novels of this land? What valuable step have you taken for theater and cinema? How did you find the present of music, painting and sculpture of our time? Do you know what the per capita reading rate of the Iranian people is? Do you know how many copies of a book cover have been printed? If you are also a member of the theater family, tell me what efficient and effective planning or management have you done for the fate and life of this art in this half-century?"


I think it was quite obvious that the artists would take to the streets and hold a protest rally to express their protest, because they have felt for years that their voices of pain and concern are not heard by the authorities who should hear them, and who does not know how much such a feeling it is dangerous; Not only has it been in this Coronary year, but for decades the art community has seen its demands pounded, and in this damn year, all hopes have been dashed.


Now you can see in the virtual networks that artists from other fields want their guilds to prepare similar movements by modeling theater community, although it seems from the posts and comments that they have no hope of improving the situation, but inaction. They do not stand and say these things only, at least people hear their voices.


I also believe that a country that does not have a dynamic theater, its music, painting, cinema, sculpture, literature are declining, its identity is lost and everything is lost, the presence of art without stuttering in a land is a sign of democracy and freedom of expression. That the ladder of socio-cultural growth is available to society, alas, those who are big decision makers either do not know these obvious points or they do not want to know.


Translated by

Abtin Javid

Hossein Hashempoor
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