Saturday, February 13, 2010

Texas artist breathes new life into old Iranian protest anthem

In early December of 2009, a new, hypnotic version of the 1970s protest anthem 'Yareh Dabestaniyeh Man' (My schoolfriend) appeared on the web site of Where Is My Vote - New York.

The fresh take on the old classic was arranged and performed by Fared Shafinury, whose commanding voice and flowing setar instrumentation seemed at odds with his 27 years. The Texas-born Iranian-American was accompanied by his band Tehranosaurus: Jason Mackenzie on Tabla, Drummer Andy Beaudoin, Chris Ledesma on Bass and Guitar, Bryan Emmon Hall on Violin, and Joey Santori on Cello.

Two days ago, Where Is My Vote - New York posted a video clip of Shafinury's song with animation by Simon Ampel. The combination is electrifying:

'Shafinury has had the privilege of studying under some of Iran’s most prominent Masters including: Ostad Mozaffari, Ostad Zolghadr, Ostad Shaari, Ostad Soukuti and Ostad Mohammad Reza Lotfi,' according to the artist's web site.

He lived for two years in Iran before returning to the United States in 2008. While in Tehran, he was detained for a short while by the police for organizing an impromptu concert in a park. He recounted the incident to a local Austin television channel:

Shafinury recorded his soon-to-be-released d├ębut album in Tehran's Avayeh Darya studio. The following clip of the song 'Arianaz' was filmed in Tehran...

Khamenei and Khomeini in the trash: And that's what their 'supporters' think of them...

A video filmed on the anniversary of the revolution, February 11, shows numerous official signs and posters bearing photos of Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini lying in the garbage thrown on the ground around Azadi Square, Tehran, even before the end of the regime-organized ceremony (video at the end of this piece).

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can be heard in the background giving his speech which began at around 11:00 and lasted until just after noon.

No one bends down to pick up the pictures and in some cases people can be seen distractedly trampling the likenesses of two key figures of the regime.

The disdainful attitude and lack of revolutionary fervor of the participants in the official march is in sharp contrast to previous years, and in the current context belies the regime's claims that the presence of large numbers of people in the rally underlines the popularity of the Islamic Republic and its leaders.

Only two months ago, the regime raised a bogus ruckus about a video showing a picture Khamenei and Khomeini which had been set on fire by protesters. As this new film displays, not even the NAJA officers (Niroureh entezamiyeh jomhouriyeh eslami, the Islamic Republic Security Forces) standing nearby care about the discarded pictures.

The regime touted the participants in the rally as its popular foot soldiers. The litter-strewn streets seem to tell another story...

The following is the footage posted by Raheh Sabzeh Azadi on YouTube: