Politics of Words and Images

  • Yadullah Shahibzadeh


The history of the Iranian political language is the history of the Iranian experiment with intellectual, political, and aesthetic emancipation since the late nineteenth century. It is a history of intellectual emancipation from the inherited perceptions of social reality, and from political and social domination. Public education has always been seen as a precondition for the realization of these different expressions of emancipation. Public education and constitutional government as means of intellectual and political emancipation were the main promises of the constitutional revolution. The constitutionalists saw a popularly elected constitutional government as a guarantee of public education because, as they argued, an educated people who are aware of their constitutional rights support their government more efficiently than ill-informed people. After seizing political power in the early 1920s, Reza Shah used education as a means of public indoctrination to guarantee people’s obedience to his authoritarian rule. The dissented Iranian intellectuals continued the ideal of public education as a means of emancipation. The Iranian intellectuals have educated the people about both the causes of their impoverished and repressed situation, and about the possibilities for gradual or revolutionary changes to that situation. It seems that the formation and expansion of the public sphere have been the condition of possibility of new political and aesthetic experiences and emancipations. Whereas the Green Movement was the expression of the political experience of the Iranian people in 2009, the film A Separation (2011) was the expression of the aesthetic experience of the people who participated in or were affected by the green movement. 1


Public Education Public Sphere Ordinary People Aesthetic Experience Police Order 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Daryush Shayegan, Cultural Schizophrenia: Islamic Societies Confronting the West (London: Saqi Books, 1992), pp.9–10.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Seyyed Javad Tabatabayi, Ibn-e Kholdun va olum-e ejtemaei, vaziyat-e olum-e ejtemaei dar tamaddon-e eslam (Tehran: Enteshar-e Tarh-e nou, 1995), pp.10–12.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Mousa Ghaninezhad, Demokrasi-ye Irani va sosialism-e Iran i, Etelaate siyasi eqtesadi, shomareh-ye 51–52, Azar va Day 1370./November–December–January 1991–1992, p.30.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Mohammadali Homayun Katouzian (Homa Katouzian), Doubareh: Demokrasi-ye Irani va sosialism-e Irani, Etelaate siyasi eqtesadi, Shomareh-ye 55–56, Farvardin va Ordibehesht, 137/March–April–May 1992, p.49.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    Homa Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis (London: I.B.Tauris, 2006), pp.55–87.Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Dar khedmat va khiyanat-e roushanfekran (Tehran: Kharazmi, 1978), pp.375–376.Google Scholar
  7. 16.
    Nazemoleslam Kermani, Tarikh-e bidari-ye Iranian, beh Ehtemam-e Ali Akbar Saidi Sirjani, (Tehran: Muaseseh-ye Entesharat-e Agah, 1983), pp.244–245.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Raymond Aron, Democracy and Totalitarianism (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968), p.83.Google Scholar
  9. 27.
    Michael P. Zerisky, Imperial Power and Dictatorship: Britain and the Rise of Reza Shah, 1921–1926, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Nov 1992), pp.645–649.Google Scholar
  10. 28.
    Sanam Vakil, Women and Politics in the Islamic Republic of Iran (New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group, 1911), p.76.Google Scholar
  11. 33.
    Jacques Rancière, Racisme, une passion d’en haut, Media part 14 September 2010.Google Scholar
  12. 36.
    Hanna Arendt, On Revolution (London: Faber and Faber, 1963), pp.270–271.Google Scholar
  13. 38.
    Bernard Manin, The Principles of Representative Government (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p.203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 41.
    Hana Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press,1998), p.144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 47.
    Hamid Reza Sadr, A Political History of Iranian Cinema (London: I. B: Tauris, 2006), p.137.Google Scholar
  16. 53.
    Martin Jay, Marxism and Totality: The Adventures of a Concept from Lukács to Habermas (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), p.371.Google Scholar
  17. 54.
    Parviz Kimiavi’s Moghoul’ ha, 1973.Google Scholar
  18. 59.
    Hamid Muazani, Tarikh-e sinema-ye Bushehr, Goftar’ hayi dar bab-e chisti-ye sinema (Bushehr: Entesharat-e Shoru, 2010), p.290.Google Scholar
  19. 61.
    Nader and Simin: A Separation (2011) by Asghar Farhadi.Google Scholar
  20. 63.
    Mehdi Mozafari Savoji, Shenakht nameh-ye Masoud Kimiayi, Jeld-e Dovvom (Tehran: Entesharat-e Morvarid, 2010).Google Scholar
  21. 67.
    See, for instance, Ali Mirsepassi, Democracy in Modern Iran, Islam, Culture, and Political Change (New York: New York University Press, 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. and The Green Movement in Iran, Edited by Navid Nikzadfar (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2011).Google Scholar
  23. 70.
    Habib Lajevardi, Labor Unions and Autocracy in Iran (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1985), p.58.Google Scholar
  24. 71.
    Charles Bingham and Gert J.J. Biesta, with Jacques Rancière, Jacques Rancière: Education, Truth, Emancipation, p.155. (New York: Continuum, 2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Yadullah Shahibzadeh 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yadullah Shahibzadeh

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations