Episode 5: Underground Art and Marginalized Voices
In the fifth episode of Siamak Pourzand Foundation’s People of the Underground podcast series, Rashin Fahandej, artist and filmmaker, speaks about the challenge of being an artist in an environment when you are altogether censored due to your religious identity. As a Baha’i growing up in Iran, Rashin explains how being “underground” was an inevitable part of her life since childhood. She describes the experience of self-censorship, when an artist of her background would not even dare to dream about bringing her art into the public realm or to openly challenge state censorship, thereby remaining inherently underground as not only an artist, but rather as a person in general. She further discusses the definition of underground and independent arts in contexts such as Iran where certain forms of art are simply considered crimes due to various political and ideological reasons. She characterizes her art outside of Iran as an endeavor that has emerged with a universal message and with the ultimate aim of giving a voice to those who have been marginalized and therefore unheard and forgotten for long.