Iranian propaganda move gone wrong
(Notes on) Politics, Theory and Photography sums up a propaganda battle that is underway in Iran between the government news agency and government critics. It’s a brilliant piece about the power of images, symbolic resistance and gender roles.
The government fired the opening salvo when the state news agency Farspublished photos of a student leader – Majid Tavakoli – who has been arrested and remains in custody. In the photographs Tavakoli, who is highly critical of the regime, was forced to wear Islamic chador andmaghnaeh, the female headscarf.
What the authorities apparently intended as a means of humiliating a critic had a surprising effect – it generated Internet solidarity, as scores of Iranian men posted pictures of themselves on various social networking sites wearing headscarves.
[…] the veiled men in the photos make clear that the images are intended as a rebuke to the official practice of compelling Iranian women to wear the chador. Perhaps the regime has made a massive mis-step here.