The girl was killed, her body stolen. Music as a weapon to challenge the regime.
Nika Shakarami a teenager who has fun with friends: short hair, without a veil, all dressed in black in sports pants and a wide t-shirt, in the video released on social media after her death, she takes the microphone and, laughing, sings a old love song from 1968, which all Iranians know by heart, from the movie Soltane Ghalbha
(King of hearts). Part of my heart tells me to go, go. The other part tells me to stay, stay. Nika disappeared on September 20, during protests against the regime in Tehran. Her body was identified ten days later by her aunt in a detention center morgue, but the state agency Tasnim declares that he was found on the street. On October 2, the day he was supposed to celebrate his seventeenth birthday, Nika was taken lifeless in Khorramabad, western Iran, with family orders to bury her in silence, without a funeral.. But then the agents stole the body to bury her in a smaller village, and prevent her grave from becoming a pilgrimage site.
Nostalgia as a protest
Nika sang for fun, not protest. But fun can also be a form of protest. In the movie Hit the Road, recent debut of Panah Panahi, son of the master Jafar Panahi today in prison, a family in a car listens to old songs of pre-revolutionary Iran at high volume. Today’s society is opposed to this type of music, so it is important to listen to it – the young Panahi told us – and Iranian families, when they go on vacation, always do it.
Old and new songs
The protests of this Iranian autumn, small and decentralized but undeterred, day and night, for over two weeks, have new songs as their soundtrack: most of all For... from Shervin Hajipourwhich lists the reasons why the people fight (To be able to dance in the street, For fear in the moment of a kiss, For my sister, your sister, our sisters ..).
The author was arrested 24 hours after sharing it and last night with a post on Instagram he distanced himself from the improper use of his song by unspecified people living abroad; but the girls now sing it at school. A friend in Iran tells me that they all have it in the car in a ball loop, a race to see who puts it louder, says Saeed, who with Leila and Pejman is one of the three members of Bowland, an Iranian band from Florence. But there are also the old protest songs, like the one chosen by the Bowlands to accompany a video of theirs with images of the demonstrations. It looks like Hello beautiful, speaks of partisans and a revolt against the dictatorship. His name is Sar oomad zemestoon (the winter is over). She was sung in the streets during the 1979 revolution and then during the Green Movement in 2009. over winter, spring in bloom, says the text. But the winter never ended.
The Bowlands have always avoided talking about politics, to have less problems; now for the first time they expose themselves with their music to give voice to those who are fighting in Iran, explains Leila. Including boys, girls and boys, Nika’s age. Protests in schools are something that has never been seen before – notes Pejman – They are really brave. They do what we wanted to do but we didn’t have the balls, adds Saeed. It is true that it was the death of Mahsa Amini that triggered the protests but there are many reasons, inflation, economic problems, sanctions, a tense situation for years, which eventually exploded into a transversal protest.
Rewrite the past
Another old tune returned to Instagram Shab Navard
(Who walks in the night) by Mohammad-Reza Shajarian (disliked by the regime for supporting the Green Movement): it speaks of a girl dripping with blood, like Mahsa Amini.
And then there is
rewritten by two of Rasht’s sisters, describes the grain that grows and needs water to resist. The film could also have contributed to the popularity of the song of the Italian Resistance in the country There is no Evil
from Mohammad Rasoulof (Golden Bear in Berlin in 2020, also arrested), in which a soldier refuses to execute a death row inmate and flees with his beloved on the notes of Beautiful Ciaor. The music of the horns is enough for Iranians to protest, Saaed of Bowlands tells me: They tell me that every now and then people go by car to create traffic and, when the policemen arrive and see the cars honking in protest, they detach the license plate (so then you can no longer drive around with the car , you have to go to the authorities, and they are problems). They say that when these policemen came in a group from one side of the street, then people would stop honking their horns, then they would all start playing them much later. And when the agents went that way, the horns started again from here.
October 4, 2022 (change October 5, 2022 | 08:31)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED