Friday, February 08, 2013

"Design Activism" to Counter Iranian Internet Censorship

by Salman Hameed

Here is literally a beautiful depiction of the Iranian internet by graphic designer Maral Pourkazemi. She considers herself a design activist and has used art to show how the Iranian government has been controlling and censoring the internet. All governments are controlling the internet to various degrees (and those degrees do vary a lot), and Iran just last year formed the Supreme Council of Cyberspace for this very purpose. While the name sounds cool, it seems to belong to a future from a Philip K. Dick novel.

Here is Pourkazemi explaining the purpose of her design (via Slate):

In six panels, Pourkazemi breaks down the Iranian government’s curated/policed Internet experience, the dissident acts of users seeking the free Internet, and the paradoxical nature of the state’s stances on open internet access. In March of 2012, the Supreme Council of Cyberspace was formed to supervise all activity online. The group aims to combat “websites that have been set up to battle our regime, promote worshipping Satan, and stoke sectarian divides,” according to Hamid Shariari, a member of the council. 
Pourkazemi hopes that by illustrating this information artistically, the true internet can become more accessible. 
“This is the power of design. This is the power of emotionalizing,” she explains. “I wanted to inform people: What is the Iranian internet? Who is the Iranian user?”
And here is a short video (3 minutes): The Iranian Internet Between Freedom and Isolation



Asad M said...

in Pakistan, Toronto Sun newspaper's website was banned last month, apparently coz of Tarek Fatah's anti-establishment and anti-Islamist views....and Rolling Stone magazine's site is also not accessible since 2011 after publishing an article about Pakistan's military spending. Now we know who is pulling the strings at PTA

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