History is written by the victors. This adage is glaringly true in Iran, where press and TV archives were shut down after the revolution in 1979, as the country’s new leaders sought to suppress anyone who didn’t fit in with their ideal of an Islamic state. Actors, models, or athletes who were big stars just a few decades ago have been all but forgotten – except by a few people, like our Observer, who painstakingly track down the little information they can find.
Today, the Internet has made it nearly impossible to remove people from the pages of history. But those who rose to fame half a century ago and whose names only remain on faded pages of Iranian newspapers may be out of luck. After the revolution, newspapers and TV broadcasters were taken over by the state, and their archives were either destroyed or closed. Today, they remain inaccessible to the public at large.
“The government decides what to release and when”
Ali Fatehi is an Iranian film director who lives in Paris. He has researched the stories of Iranian entertainers and athletes who were erased from history, and is planning to make documentaries about several of these people.
“In Iran, a golden generation of people who were once stars and for whom Iranians would stand in line in front of theatres and stadiums to see perform have been wiped from history. Poets and writers haven’t disappeared, because they published books and were therefore not dependent on the media, but entertainers are a whole other matter.”
Initially published on France24 on 12/30/2013
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