Episode 5: Challenges of Underground Art Performances in Iran


The fifth session of Siamak Pourzand Foundation’s Legal Salon podcast series focuses on the challenges of underground art performances in contemporary Iran. Considering the legal and non-legal impediments, discussed in previous episodes of this podcast series, various artists are denied the permission required to legally stage their arts. Therefore, many artists, musicians in particular, decide to go underground. Nevertheless, performing underground also comes with its own set of challenges and risks. If caught by the Islamic Republic authorities while performing underground, these artists and organizers may face serious legal and security consequences. An alternative choice for artists who cannot stage their arts legally in Iran is to leave the country and try their chances elsewhere. This choice also comes with a different set of challenges. Session explores the aforementioned challenges with specific legal references and examples. Further, guest experts of this podcast session discuss some of the general hurdles in the way of Iranian artists who choose to/ are forced to leave the country.


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.
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  • © Siamak Pourzand Foundation, 2014