Episode 4: Women and Underground Arts in Iran

The fourth session of Siamak Pourzand Foundation’s Legal Salon podcast series focuses on the limitations that women experience as artists in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This session depicts some of the legal reasons behind the emergence of women’s notable role in Iran’s contemporary underground arts. Even though some female artists manage to bypass government’s censorship by various means (such as basing their art upon religious themes), many others are either unable to bypass state censorship, or choose not to confirm to restrictive laws under any circumstances. These artists are left with three choices: they either take their music and art underground, quit their aspirations and work in arts altogether, or leave the country and grow as artists elsewhere. All three options have their own challenges and implications. In this podcast, these challenges are discussed.

This podcast session further explores the specific ways in which Islamic Republic laws become a hurdle in the way of women in arts. The guest experts discuss the general concepts embedded within the laws of the Islamic Republic that often allow state authorities to act upon their individual preferences and interpretations, leading to arbitrary definitions and decisions regarding women’s presence in arts.

Mehrangiz Kar and Nargess Tavassolian
Legal Salon is one of Siamak Pourzand Foundation’s podcast series that addresses the legal discussions surrounding the emergence and expansion of underground arts and culture in contemporary Iran. The discussions are conducted by Mehrangiz Kar, prominent lawyer, writer and human rights advocate, and Nargess Tavassolian, legal analyst with a PhD in Law from SOAS University of London. Pooya Jahandar, social media expert, has also contributed to the production of this podcast series.


  • English
  • Farsi
  • © Siamak Pourzand Foundation, 2014