Season 7 Episode 5: ‘Women, Life, Freedom’: Poetry and Protest in the Iranian State
For our fifth episode, panellist Clare Francis discusses the interplay of poetry and protest in the Iranian state with Dr. Fatemeh Shams, an activist, award-winning poet, and Persian literary scholar. Alongside host Neema Jayasinghe, they explore the boundaries of art and activism in Iran, where successive regimes have historically sought to enforce strict limitations around acceptable versus unacceptable forms of activism. Protest movements challenge these boundaries in myriad creative ways, but they are at constant risk of co-option by the state. By examining the intersection of poetry and protest in Iran’s women-led uprising – known globally by the catch cry ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ – Dr. Shams gives voice to both the challenges and the revolutionary potential of women’s activism in Iran.