“You can Call me an Underground Filmmaker” by Z

What has emerged as underground arts in Iran is impossible to control or stop at this point. No matter how hard the authorities of the Islamic Republic try to eliminate underground arts, they will not succeed. While restricting authentic underground artists, they seem to have accepted their inability to completely control this phenomenon. In fact, the Islamic Republic hijacks aspects of underground art to portray a more modern image of its sponsored, and often ideologically-driven, arts scene. For instance, the Islamic Republic has now renamed hip-hop to something called “speech singing”, allowing its approved artists to compose songs in rap style. These songs, that of course lack original hip-hop style lyrics of objection and criticism, are widely broadcasted on state TV and radio. Other instances of this trend include various movies approved by the Islamic Republic capturing their characters engaged in graffiti arts as part of the plot. Islamic fashion shows are another example of the Islamic Republic’s efforts to borrow elements from the country’s underground arts scene, and make them Islamically and ideologically sound for its own purposes.

To read the rest of this article in Persian, click here.

Z is a young underground filmmaker who continues her artistic activities in Iran. Z is her pseudonym.


  • English
  • Farsi
  • © Siamak Pourzand Foundation, 2014