27 Jul 2009 21:00
Artful Resistance: A selection of post-election artwork
By Saya Ovaisy in Tehran | 26 July 2009
Between midnight and dawn on June 13, a community of pro-Reformist voters held an all-night vigil on Facebook to follow the poll results from Iran's hyper-charged presidential election.
As feeds from the Associated Press and IRNA wires began pouring in, status updates rapidly progressed from alarm to incredulity to shock, and finally -- with two-thirds of votes counted toward a landslide for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- to despair and outrage.
By 6:00 am, Facebook profile photos had already started morphing into graphic icons. Some chose the silhouette of Iran on fire; others, a simple black square to connote a state of mourning. Yet, most ubiquitous was the angry demand: "WHERE IS MY VOTE?"
This spontaneously-coined phrase (which first appeared on the social networking site twelve hours before election results were officially announced by state television on the afternoon of June 13), became a central symbol of the protests that erupted later that day and endured over the next five weeks.
As Facebook was reported to be under surveillance of state intelligence, Iranian users increasingly changed their profile pictures to protect their identities -- and to express solidarity with the civil rights-oriented "Green Movement" sweeping their country.
An explosion of creativity has accompanied this trend: dozens of graphic icons, posters, illustrations, cartoons, music videos, and other artwork now pepper the Walls of Facebook's pro-Mousavi population.
Tehran Bureau presents a selection of anonymous visuals frequently seen among Facebook profiles as well as original artwork submitted to us by artists under pseudonyms.
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