Hila Sedighi is a young but very accomplished and passionate poet living in Iran. Her recitals are always crowded with an enthusiatic audieince of all ages and groups. In the wake of the 2009 elections, Hila’s words have brought hope and inspiration to millions both inside Iran and around the world.
Babak Ashourpatakan is a pseudonym for an artist living in Iran whose identity has to be concealed to protect him from the repressive regime.
Daniela Kantorova grew up in Czech Republic, and is currently living in California, pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology with interest in trauma. Her passions include human rights, writing, and photography. She has been blogging for Mideastyouth.com, and as a member of the Baha’i community, she has been active in raising awareness of human rights violations in Iran.
Morteza Darestani was born in 1974 in Tehran. He started practicing music when he was 14 years old.
Morteza applied for permission to publish his debut music album from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Guidance Ministry in 1997. After waiting 5 years, the album, ‘Narafte az Yad’ (Not Cleared From Memory) was finally given permission but only after many changes and the elimination of some songs. Despite this, it was banned only 3 months after release. He entered university to study music in 2001, but was expelled without cause in 2003.
Sheida Mohamadi. A poet and writer, Sheda was Poet in Residence at University of Maryland, 2010 and has published three books. Her third book, Aks-e Fowri-ye Eshqbazi (The Snapshot of Making Love) is a collection of poems published underground in Tehran in 2007. Sheida Mohamadi was recognized as one of the most notable contemporary Persian writers of 2010 by the Encyclopedia Britannica (Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year 2010, page 268).
Ali Khalid was an Algerian refugee. He created about 30 paintings and sculptures while living in Holzminden, Germany. Most of his pieces were commissioned. Ali Khalid died in 2004 and is survived by his partner and their daughter.
Simin Behbahani, born July 20, 1927 in Tehran, Iran, is one of the most prominent figures of the modern Persian literature and one of the most outstanding amongst the contemporary Persian poets. She is Iran’s national poet and an icon of the Iranian intelligentsia and literati who affectionately refer to her as the lioness of Iran.She has been nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in literature, and has received many literary accolades around the world. Source: Wikipedia
Iran Underground Music‘s sole purpose is to support the new talent that are coming out on a daily basis by spreading the word.
There’s a thriving and active underground music scene in Tehran helped by the growth of internet access in Iran. Although Western pop music has largely been banned in Iran since the revolution in 1979, a wave of locally-produced hip-hop, rock and fusion acts are evading the Ministry of Culture and finding audiences online. Iran’s underground music scene is similar but also considerably different than its counterparts in the West. Official censorship is relatively rare in the West, but music faces commercial constraints. “Underground” music in the West is thus arguably defined more by non-commercial aesthetics than controversial politics, given that it faces greater social and political constraints. Iranian underground music encompases a broad range of music addressing a broader range of topics.
Shlomo Hazan aka @shariatmadari is a filmmaker and musician as well as an activist concerned with the human rights situation in Iran. His work may be found on his Myspace page. His blog in July 2009 drew attention to the Nokia Siemens Monitoring System in Iran.
Tom Neitzke: screen designer, director, Dad. With a strong desire for justice, never lost faith in the good. Though sometimes getting cynical!
Larry Jaffe The New Official Anti-Bio:
Jaffe is an internationally known and an award winning poet he writes from the heart and soul with great clarity and understanding. He impacts audiences and readers with a rich emotional range, masterfully crafted. He has read his work in such distinguished locations as the Japanese American Museum, the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Tolerance, the Jewish Museum and the Museum of Literature in Prague and the Dylan Thomas Centre in Wales. He uses the uses the aesthetic power of poetry to bring understanding to the world especially in the area of human rights. To reward this commitment was appointed Poet Laureate for Youth for Human Rights and United for Human Rights. Jaffe was the recent recipient of the Saint Hill Art Festival’s Lifetime of Creativity Award, the first time given to a poet.
Paula B. Slater is a full time professional sculptor living in the United States. She is internationally recognized for her highly detailed and finely finished bronze portraits and monuments. Her sculptures, monuments and other work can be found on her website.
Anita Cleaver has degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and UM-St. Louis and is an aspiring songwriter and artist. She has worked with women in abusive situations and volunteers for various causes. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her wonderful family of a husband, two children and two cats.
Bjarne Kim Pedersen is a Danish storyteller and author of short SMS poems and novels. He is a member of the Danish PEN.
Thyge Bjerregaard Pedersen is a young Danish photographer.
Julie Ashcraft A.K.A. Jigsawnovich designed the new logo for Neda for a Free Iran, one of her paintings is reproduced in the book Definitions: The Art and Design of Hip Hop by Cey Adams with a forward by Russell Simmons and her photos have been published by O Globo. Her articles have been published by PBS Frontline Tehran Bureau, ArtSlant, and Iranian.com; she has edited the blog for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and she edited the subtitles for the award-winning Iranian short film, ATTN: Mr. Democrat. Her work may be found via her Flickr accounts and website.
Hassan Nadjaf is a photographer in Sweden with great interest in nature and portrait photography who also devotes a lot of time to constructive art photography.
Eowyn9 is a freelance musician, teacher, blogger, amateur poet, perpetual student and – now – human rights defender, @Eowyn9 has been Tweeting for Iran’s Green Movement since June 2009. She considers joining the #iranelection hashtag on Twitter a year and a half ago probably the best thing that ever happened to her and will go on supporting the freedom movement in Iran until the end! She blogs anonymously as the Contrapuntal Platypus.
Mariacarmela Ribecco is an Italian poet committed to human rights. She writes poems that tell stories related to countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Colombia, Yemen, Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Chechnya.
Smokeyhead: an Iranian artist and passionate supporter of human rights and justice for Iran, who prefers to let their work speak for itself.
Soheil Tavakoli is an architect and artist originally from Tehran, Iran. After his final art exhibit there in 2004, Soheil moved to the United States where he continues to design and create beautiful artwork. On June 12, 2009 and after a highly disputed presidential election in Iran, Soheil found the opportunity to join several demonstrations in different U.S. cities in support of the opposition movement and demanded freedom and democracy in Iran. During demonstrations, Soheil created several on-the-spot street paintings and murals that portrayed the highlights of the events and conflicts after the election. He also created numerous digital paintings and videos (Green Movement Digital Paintings) which have been in circulation on the Internet. His work, including his line of postage stamps for the Green Movement can be found on his website.
Foad Manshady is an Iranian rapper with a mission. It’s to promote truth, justice, and freedom. He is the voice of minorities. He makes you think about some stuff that you never had to deal with in your life. For more information about Foad, including his blog, visit his website. His music is also available on YouTube.
Gregg Chadwick: I agree with Martin Luther King Jr. who said,”Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963)
Currently, I paint in an old airplane hangar in Santa Monica, California. The recurring sound of airplane take-offs and landings from the active airport runaway outside my studio reminds me of my own history of travel and our global connections. After I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art at UCLA and my Master’s Degree in Fine Art at NYU, my wanderings have taken me from the U.S. to Asia to Australia to Europe and back, again and again. These wanderings have helped provide a series of spaces that appear within my paintings. My thoughts on art and politics can be found on my blog, Speed of Life. My flickr page is often updated with new finished paintings and works in progress.
Ahou is an Iranian-American singer/songwriter and actress trained in theater and voice.
She is currently working on a full-length album to be tentatively released in Winter 2011. Ahou is deeply honored to contribute to international human rights day with her music.
Fariba Safai is a graduate of California College of The Arts in San Francisco were she studied and received her fine arts degree in sculpture. Upon witnessing the human rights abuses in her homeland Iran in the city where she was born, Tehran on the first day of uprising, Fariba felt an overwhelming desire to do what she can to speak against the atrocities she was seeing take place by the hands of the Government of Iran against their citizens. In a performance where she created the costume and wrote the poem called ‘I Smile’ [The smile being a symbol for perseverance in human struggle against tyranny].
FORZA is an indie music band with a special history. Several of the band-members
came to Norway as asylum seeker kids, the band started at a refugee
centre. They organized themselves, fought the Norwegian government to
obtain rights, and formed a band. More information on their website.