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4 de Octubre, 2007

One More Moment Before We Bomb—

Categorized under Guerra , Iran , Política Estados Unidos , Terrorizing la Gente | Tags:

LET'S TAKE A WALK THROUGH IRAN.

Here are images, I wanted to lay them out. As glimpses. Isolated glimpses into another country, one that mostly exists for us in scary soundbytes and media-approved shots of hangings and flame and the dark dark chador and the obscuring burqa. We pump the hot gas of our fear and media worship into those shadowy shapes, because after all, all of us here in the USA are experts at marketing and advertising and image. We take joy in our trade. This is our most intensive area of training.

We are mid-commercial right now. Halfway through the award-winning "Bomb Iran" messaging blitz. I give you a few outtakes that might not make it into the glossy front page spread.

The tricky part about laying out images in a sequence is that, depending on the order, a story wants to connect the previously separate moment. The Glimpse becomes a Thought, and then a Tale. But I did not want to force some clunky narrative...which my hands seemed to want to do no matter how I moved around the pictures. So I ended up initially grouping them by color to solve my problem. That gave me a basic blueprint that I could follow without fear of setting up something too contrived. Let the colors lead the way, let the pigment and the paint and the hue have its say.

Update: Sun, October 7. I have edited some fotos, traded one or two out, due to new information.




This shot is of a woman looking into Khomeini's tomb.


















Amazingly, Iranians have nature, too. They don't eat only brains and sleep in cemetary-mosques.



















A wondrous work of art, this rivals the most beautiful churches I've seen in the USA. I don't go in too much for religion. But I do appreciate the art that moves the hands of humans when they feel inspired. I feel much the same way as I have standing in some vast, ornate churches in New York. There are a few beauties.

Just look at the intricacy and art that has gone into the design and lighting design of this building. Simply beautiful.

This is a mosque in Naqse-Jahan Square in Isfahan.



















A wedding in Iran. A Kurdish-Persian wedding.


















(This shot doesnt come in so much on its chromatic value. But more of what is called a "graphic match" when making an editing cut. Interestingly, the bodies sort of line up. Standing vertical figures, the spacing...a happy gathering, though in daylight.)

These are Kurdish Iranians in Najar, Iran. Kurdistan. They are some of the oldest Iranians in the region, descended from the Medes. The Kurds are Sunni Muslims, who often are engaged in some type of fight with their government to retain their culture and some degree of political autonomy.

I love the mother in the doorway with her child. The child has that typical "wary of a strange camera" look in her eye. But the mother feels kind and warm, what with her happy expression, flowing and comfortable garb, and direct gaze.




















Bolhassan, Iran. This is one of the prettiest shots I found. I love this image. The deep blue sky, the cluster of homes that do not seem ruled by a grid, but rather naturally occurring as groups of people settled near one another. The warm windows, telling of humans living and perhaps reading, or talking to one another as the night settles down over them all. I think of fireflies.

Bolhassan is another Kurdish town, only five miles from Iraq, in Kordestan, Iran. This village of people was chemically bombed by Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Iran war in 1987 and 1988. To this day, almost the entire population suffers from the toxic aftereffects in the form of skin diseases, cancer, genetic "malformations," and crippled births.

When not relying on other Reasons, the U.S. media and government will trumpet the bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq as a justified means of deposing the evil that Saddam Hussein was. We didn't need chemical weapons to do that. Not until it was decided that an entire city needed to be hit hard.

Will we speak of the effects of using nuclear weapons on Iran? Before? Or after? How much do we really care?





















Just a cooling tower on a museum roof in Kashan, Iran.

I love, again, the deep blue sky behind the sand-colored and artistic structure. I think of the adobe buildings I saw often in my youth, and for a time lived in. Homes in the southwest. Arizona? California? I cannot remember. But I always see sun and sand and big blue sky in my mind.




















Naqse-JahanSquare, as pointed out by commenter Kian. From here, where he has many fotos that show Esfahan, Iran.



















The Azadi Tower. Translated, it becomes "The Freedom Tower," which makes me smile, and think of George W. Bush. Would he appreciate the name? Isn't that what he wanted to name that some Museum of Dubya Doctrine Justification in NYC? "The Freedom Tower." Freedom there, freedom here. Freedom everywhere these days.

It is rather inspiring, though, I have to admit. I want to run at it full speed and see how far up the sides I can fly, wave my arms shouting as I move through its center. I wonder if I'd be allowed. I know even in New York, you have to be careful these days about what liberties you take with your body and voice. "If You See Something, Say Something" and all that.

















Wow. This is really something. Again, I do think of the adobe houses, but more of a castle. An adobe castle. This is the city of Bam, Iran. One of those structures that always impresses me with the passion and ingenuity and ability of human beings.

*Sadly, a commenter informs me that the same year this was taken, an earthquake destroyed the city, taking 40,000 lives. Now that is a vast and tragic number.




















September 8 is International Literature Day in Iran. So...even in Iran, Childrens Do Learn.




















And some also look stylish.




















A major highway in Iran. This photograph was on display in NYC as part of a foto essay called "Inconvenient Evidence."

The eye of media is always open. The mouth of media is always talking. What is it seeing? What is it saying?

Is Adults learning?




















More Iranian schoolchildren.

Somebody looks bored. I seem to remember myself in similar shots.

*a commenter informs me this is, in their opinion, California, and not Iran. They point out the poster on the fence. And I suddenly notice the foliage.



















This, however is Iran. In this shot, children play outside Ali Qapu Palace, in Esfahan.










































































American basketball player Garf Joseph practicing at the Azadi Stadium with his team, Saba Battery, in 2005. (Again, that would make this the "Freedom Stadium." So, it looks like Iran has scads of Freedom to me.)

From what I've learned, there are many teams in Iran with American players! Go figure. And here I thought it was a forbidden land or something. It makes you wonder: How many good games am I missing???









































A woman holds a Terroristic message on a sign. Protests in Iran against the US-led bombing of Afghanistan. They seemed to think that mostly civilians were suffering and dying. Of course you and I know this was our really great war, the good one.





















Sheep yearn for freedom behind the iron curtain of Islamofascist Iran.

Here, the photos veer away from the multi-hued, brown/black/blue tones of people-populated photos and into the "golden/red" group.




















The Grand Bazaar. You can almost hear the ambient sound all around you, smell the smells...



















Love this shot. I can't help but think of Mexicanas, of my own abuelita. The market, women grinding corn, mujeres slapping tortillas.

Here, women in Arsanjan, Iran, mash pomegranates into a sweet, red, syrup.




















Art from Morteza Zahedi, a children's author in Iran.



















Maybe she will be one of the storytellers of tomorrow. I wonder what story she would tell? I wonder how we can affect the telling of that tale.

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Comentarios (94)


mimi dijo:

GRVTR

Thanks for your mass medium, Nez.

What a great peek into the idea that humanity is borderless. I'll send this link to everyone I know.

Take care.


Rafael dijo:

GRVTR

They be people toos....nah it can't be...or can they be? Not a sewer grate, or roaches spilling away to infest the middle east (which btw, is only in the middle form an Eurocentric point of view)?

Their be people thair...

Yes indeed....

Thanks for the pics man....


kyledeb dijo:

GRVTR

This is great, Nez

At first I thought, what the heck is Nez doing? It looks like he cut and past from a bunch of random tourism brochures (we're always so used to spin and being marketed to)

But as I continued I sort of felt a weight lifted, from me. It was like, oh, I'm just supposed to think about what normal people live like in Iran.

I remember when I was a kid and I'd visit people in the U.S. from Guatemala. Other kids, or even older people, assumed I lived in a jungle, that I didn't have computers or any kind of technology, or even cars.

I guess you hope that is people get older they developed a more nuanced view of the world. But this is the sort of propaganda we're subjecting our children with.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

jeje...i never really know what i'm doing.

:) thanks bro


M dijo:

GRVTR

Wild madness! Where's the red eyes, the foaming mouths, the jaws that bite, the claws that catch?! (The jub-jub bird, the frumious Bandersnatch -- might as well take my jabberwocky to its full bent.)

This is awesome. Life, as it's living. We need a globe full of pictures. And I want to see the rest of that photo essay; it looks interesting. Anyway, thank you, 'mano.


janna dijo:

GRVTR

Gorgeous, Nezua, thank you. It's pretty hard to vilify a people when we see them as Human.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

yes...why we're now being sold the predictable pre-bombing raid vilification on the regular. I remember when CNN was showing all the executions on football fields before we bombed afghanistan. by the time those bombs flew, i was convinced that afghanistan was one huge stadium of public shootings.

thanks, janna

---


M, el gusto es mio. great quote.


RickB dijo:

GRVTR

Doing posts like this affects the telling of that tale, pushing some powerful illegal drug here- empathy.

If anyone wants more just hit Hamed Saber's Flickr account
http://flickr.com/photos/hamed/
and spin off from there, Hamed is important because he made the Flickr add-on for Firefox that lets people get round state censorship (in many countries, some of which the US is a big ally of, freedom huh) and use Flickr to post pics, blog, connect. He's like the Godfather of Persian People's Photographers of Flickr!


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

great stuff. thanks for dropping that link, rickB.

yes you've been following M.E. blogs for a while now, it seems.


RickB dijo:

GRVTR

Well I figured why take the 'Great & the Goods' words for it, go to the horses mouth and would you know it, it turned out our elite was talking a load of shit. It's government and corporations who want wars, no one else. Iran (because of the Iran-Iraq war) has such a youth based population, they think their govt. is idiotic (just like us) and guess what they don't fancy being bombed back into the stone age (just like us). They haven't invaded anyone (unlike us), thousands of Jews live in Iran, they aren't bothered about going to Israel (because not all Jews are Zionists). IRI (Islamic republic of Iran-the Islamic revolutionary govt.) have become an idiot theocracy who treat other religions as second class (hello Pat Robertson, hello dominionists) but they don't represent Iran in its totality, unless you and the US readers of this blog all secretly love George Bush, so countries are just monolithic fan clubs for the leader of the day. Which erm, somehow I doubt. Also Ahmadinejad (loudmouth that he is) is not the supreme leader (unlike George Bush) so exclusive attention on him is dishonest of the politicians and media but they want a bogeyman (not least because he is not a big fan of globalisation).

It's about realpolitik/power (as Rafael made clear in a podcast and yeah 'middle' east is totally a eurocentric/orientalist term, middle relative to whom? But in the absence of a better term everyone understands it's a workable thing I suppose, in fact the meta blog Mid East Youth http://www.mideastyouth.com/index.php sort of shows this) they just don't want an Iran that can't be pushed around and also I think some of the current administration are no longer rational (if any neo-con ever was). Which means the disaster of an attack on Iran does not occur to them, to some extent other big players(China, Russia), even IRI are not worried about an attack because it will be the beginning of the absolute destruction of America's global imperial power. However the cost of that is many Iranian's lives and years of misery because it is likely the infrastructure will be hit, big players live with that cost, us people who have to suffer it would really rather they weren't disposable chips in global capital games. I sort of feel like I have friends there now, if there was an attack some of them could die, I guess that's the bottom line.

Or quick answer- yes I have, better than corporate media representations every goddam time, corporations make money from war, their media relfects this need in their duplicity.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

you are right. what an idiotic term "middle eas"t is i never thought of that, how strange. thank you for pointing that out.


Rafael dijo:

GRVTR

I did? I guess I did...jejeje....


NLinStPaul dijo:

GRVTR

This is the most beautiful diary I've ever seen. And I also think it could be one of our most powerful tools in speaking out against the madness that the looming war is becoming.

We all live in Jena
We all live in Iran
...


michael mandel dijo:

GRVTR

What a beautiful post, Nezua. Thanks for this!


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

yes, NL. you are so right. i mean about your last two lines. thank you.

--

thanks michael. el gusto es mio


Kai dijo:

GRVTR

Great concept and selection, Nez! Packed with your usual visual and verbal wit.

Actually one of the reasons I love traveling so much is that after you've made friends all over the world and understood that people are basically the same everywhere, you hardly feel like bombing them. But as you say, is our adults learning?

Regarding the term "Middle East"...actually in Asia, the Iranian-Afghan region is described as "West Asia".

Peace.


RC dijo:

GRVTR

I had something to say but rickb covered most of it. It might be an idea to also do one of your great graphics one day, Nez, that shows the time line from Ancient Persia through the Shah Reza era to the present and to note on that chart the different religions that dominated at different times and also the reactions of each era that were caused by the previous one's excesses. The mosque photo was my favorite there on your slideshow. The intricacies of the masonry and tiling are breathtaking if you are in those trades and can appreciate the ambition of the designers and craftsmen.


NLinStPaul dijo:

GRVTR

I'd just like to share a little "real life" thing that happened to me today that shows how blogging CAN change some things, one little change at a time.

At work we are currently involved with lots of discussions that are going on in one part of our community because 30-50 kids have decided to hang out at the local library because they have nowhere else to go. Because they are kids of color, they aren't really at the library to read books, and they get mouthy when people expect the worst of them - library staff and older white residents of the area have decided that they are a problem. At the heart of it all is that they have decided that they need to be afraid of this kids and that they need an armed police officer in the library to take control of the situation.

As a co-worker and I were talking about all this, we noted the parallels between what's going on here and in our build-up to bomb Iran. It all starts with the fear-mongering. I showed this diary to my co-worker and his reaction was to try and figure out how we could share with this community something similar to what you have done in this diary. Our idea was that maybe we could make a movie of some of these kids talking about themselves and letting folks make a connection to their humanity.

Thought you might appreciate how one thing leads to another...and on, and on...

And you might also get a kick out of my co-workers reaction to this diary:

Maybe as an amendment to the perennial anti flag-burning legislation, it could be added that we won’t bomb anywhere where baseball is played.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

ah, thanks kai. interesante, los nombres.

and i'm totally with you on moving/traveling. the wider the range of experience, the better. seeing different styles, ways, dialects, looks. good for the brain.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

agreed, RC. beautiful work and eye.

--

NL, that's amazing! how one thing leads to another, yes!

and i love that you tied together what's happening with your library with our run up to bombing. i was writing a post on the SAME tie in, in a way. how its all connected, and too many are giving in to this war stance, this hypnotist's rap, this fear based on some idea we've been fed. that's wild.

yes, jeje. the baseball. i know, it's striking. but that gives away so much of our image of the place. our reaction to seeing them play baseball. as if.


NLinStPaul dijo:

GRVTR

I can't wait to read what you're writing about this. The thoughts about how we seem to feed the fear that leads to violence and war are filling my brain these days.

If I had your gift for art, I'd divide my canvas into two polarities. On the one side I'd surround fear with war and cops with guns. And on the other side I'd try to find some way to capture what you did in this diary; the connection of people to people/land to land and how that leads to peace.

There seems to me to be a disconnect going on between people. And the more we try to "secure" ourselves, the farther apart we get from each other...and the more afraid...and the more violent.


Pere Ubu dijo:

GRVTR

Excellent photo essay. All the things we're willing to destroy in the name of defending against an existential (sp?) threat. Mere eggs we need to break in the making of freedom's omlette, as it were.


Christian Israel dijo:

GRVTR

I hope you all noticed there's not a single gay bar or homosexual in any of those photos...nowhere in the entire country. Wowwww. I have the impression that you love Iran enough to want to move there...and I hope you will. It *is* a nice country...and I'll be happy to see what happens to you when you start critcizing the ayatollahs there.


Jentzi dijo:

GRVTR

It´s delightful...I keep reading the women´s faces, placement in the groups and so on...And I keep noticing that they´re alot more mixed, the groups that is, than a gathering would be where I live (live in Sweden, I should point out).

The shot of Bolhassan keeps me thinking of illustrations we saw in the "after-school-church-activities" I had to attend to when I was a kid, more precisely of illustrations supposed to picture how it looked at christmas-time.
Your shot are really beautiful. I hope more people see it and start to think.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

so "christian israel," am i right in interpreting your message as that for my crime of seeking humanity in other people, you wish harm and violence upon me? and that knowing this is happening to me, you would be happy?


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

thank you, jentzi. i hear it is very segregated in sweden. i have the impression racism is well-entrenched there, is that your experience? or am i drawing upon false impressions?


Rafael dijo:

GRVTR

Christian Israel? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

Also why do we always get the same response from the troglodytes (or should I say five year olds)...

"Well, if you like it so much, why don't ya live there, eh, why doncha!"

But I guess seeing the people is not the point, these faces and places defeat them, they want to see demons and monsters. If thats the case, you might want to look under your bed. Like the that sticker on the right hand car mirror says "Objects may be closer than they appear".


jill howell dijo:

GRVTR

Thank you! This is brilliant. I can't help but think how different many decisions made in the world could have been, if they were decided in the context of humanity rather than business and graphs and charts and bottom lines (that they will argue trickles down to people.) Wherever people meet to discuss events that will significantly impact people, large photographs such as these should adorn the walls making it impossible (okay, I'll settle for less likely) for them to make those decisions devoid of any consideration for the human cost.

I know after seeing this I will always try and keep the people and their lives visible. Thank you

Jill Howell


Pere Ubu dijo:

GRVTR

I hope you all noticed there's not a single gay bar or homosexual in any of those photos...nowhere in the entire country.

wow, I didn't know you had SEEKRIT POWERS that enabled you to look at a picture of a person and determine whether they were homosexual or not.

Use those carefully, now. With great power comes great responsibility - or at least great wankery, in your case.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

Thank you, Pere Ubu, for your initial comments, and for warning our friend to ware those superhero powers. They do get us into trouble. :)

--

Jill, you've made my day.


clammy dijo:

GRVTR

thanks so much for posting this... I wish you could also show in photos the amazing hospitality Iranians show to their guests. they are a people who would rather starve themselves for a month than let their guests suffer from a lack of choices.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

there is far more i do not know about iranians than i do know. thank you.


Bill dijo:

GRVTR

Superb! Superb!


GT3T dijo:

GRVTR

Lovely photos. My haircutter is Iranian, married to a German, living in N.C. She goes at long intervals to visit her family and says they all hate the government.

Look, too, at Iranian films. Children of Heaven is about a boy who loses his sister's shoes and they have to share a pair. It makes your heart smile. Netflix has a whole section of Iranian films.


Milander dijo:

GRVTR

Lovely photos, nothing I didn't know already but I congratulate you for posting them. Hopefully it will open a few eyes to the sheer raw beauty of the middle east... it's not camels and desert, craters and blood, oil and bullets. It's a land of rare grace, ancient history and culture.

nice one


Farhad Abdolian dijo:

GRVTR

Hi there,
Nice pictures, really interesting. As an Iranian who has not been back to the country since the day I left if back in 84, I really like to see Iran through the eyes of a non-Iranian.

Just for your information, some of the pictures you have are either not up-to-date or not from Iran.

The picture from Bam, is very old, the ancient city was almost completely destroyed during the devastating earth quake in December 26, 2003 killing close to 41 000 people.

The picture of the teacher and the Childrens is I am pretty sure is not from Iran. A woman showing her hair in public will be punished by the IRI thugs, and the poster on the left side of the image looks like it is from Iranian community in California.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

Ah, thank you, Farhad. Now I have to decide if I replace them. I suppose, given my purpose, I should.

The picture of Bam is, actually, from 2003. Thank you for bringing me up to date.


Larendect dijo:

GRVTR

I think you're being rather judgmental of whomever you're directing your comments to. Many of us have been to Iran, or know Iranians, and I know of no consensus who dislike the people as a whole. The issue remains, they wish to be a violent, repressive power which invades smaller nations that don't wish battle with them. This is a nation that sacrificed half a million people in a war 27 years ago because people are cheaper than machinery. These are a people who execute little girls for the crime of being raped. These are the people who kill men accused of being homosexuals, with nothing more than accusations as proof. Wonderful country of beautiful, enriched people, but a dangerous nemesis none the less.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

maybe, Larendect, we are both being judgmental, if you can claim that "many of us," have been to Iran. After all, who is "us"?

I guess in this post I'm speaking back to the media that is feeding me nonsense. I wouldn't take it personally if you dont feel you are the target. I just won't be part of being hypnotized into cheering on some bombfest—psychological or actual—with the usual media blitzing of dire dangers dancing all about.

The issue remains, they wish to be a violent, repressive power which invades smaller nations that don't wish battle with them.

Hmmmm. Is my ironymeter broken? Because it is flippin' out!

Listen, clearly you have an issue with Iran. I won't try to take that from you. And I don't see a line in my post that even approximates "Go Iran! Greatest of nations!"

But they are not my "nemesis." And my opinion we ought first mind our own nation's transgressions against humanity and rights of due process, etc before we get to judging other violators. You know? Clean up our own house first and all that. Even our own personal emotional and intellectual states. It's so easy to point to other people. I think there's a little too much of that going on. We have plenty to mind right here in front of us. Sacrificed their own people? What did we do with Katrina? Watched our own people starve in septic stink? For entertainment? Or just plain stupidity? Worse? I could go on. And it's actually more important to me right now that we fix what's wrong in our own country before we bring the rest of the world up to speed. And one of the main things that's wrong with us is our media and the bullshit it feeds us.

Thus, this post.


ron dijo:

GRVTR

The only thing wrong with Iran is thier strange, violent religion. It is a religion thats feeds on ignorance and violence. As long as they adhere to this barbaric religion they will be treated as barbarians. As well they should. the choice is thiers.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

yes, i, too am against violence justified by a religion, or religious sensation, or religious conviction.

As long as they adhere to this barbaric religion they will be treated as barbarians. As well they should. the choice is thiers.

given this reasoning, how ought the USA be treated for the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war? she made a choice, too. so how ought the USA be treated? is the USA to be held to account by different standards? if so, why? what justifies our own indifference to life and to law? why is it so preferable to condemn those who do not represent us?


Monica dijo:

GRVTR

Beautiful blog. Thank you for this essay. May we all remember humanity.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

thank you for the thought and the words, monica.


Dee Loralei dijo:

GRVTR

Very beautiful photo essay you've compiled, Nez. And your commentary was delightful. So thanks for that. I wish all memembers of congress would have to see it before they ever voted to declare war on Iran. Lovely.


Sara dijo:

GRVTR

I am by no means an advocate for war, but it cannot be forgotten that the people of Iran are denied basic human rights. The so-called "Freedom Tower" was designed by a member of the Baha'i Faith named Hossein Amanat, yet, in Iran, Baha'is are routinely persecuted, imprisoned and denied education. Are these the Iranians that are living in freedom?


Professor Zero dijo:

GRVTR

Great, great post. And what a beautiful country. And I would have so liked to visit. And our declaring war on Iran will not bring its people freedom.


kian dijo:

GRVTR

For the record, the second picture is not of Naqse-Jahan Square. http://flickr.com/photos/bucketfullofbuddha/9681261/in/set-239389/ is Naqse-Jahan Square. The third picture is not a mosque in Tehran, it's the mosque in Naqse-Jahan Square in Isfahan.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

thank you, kian. i will adjust.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

Sara, my point in this post is not that "hey, Iranians are living in freedom." But as Profacero points out above, that is not a relevant point here. And as you are such a freedom and rights advocate, I have some good news for you. Many people living in the USA are not living in Freedom. And they are close enough that you can do something about that! Such as many migrant farmworkers, people who bring you and me vegetables, or meat from the slaughterhouses. Many of them are persecuted and locked up and taken away from their families. Even when their kids are at school. Many are exploited by their employers, who know this deadlocked population will not complain too much. They have no rights. Right here where they contribute and make our lifestyles possible. Many of them fear the police, and won't even go to the emergency room when they get very ill. Is this the "Freedom for All" that Americans have? Is this the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" that the Land of Liberty pleads she will tend?

You sense that my intent is to push back against the bomb-Iran propaganda, and you answer for the pro-preemtive bombing propagandists—with them, actually. You say you are not an advocate of war, then why is this the line you offer in response to a post titled "Another moment before we bomb"? Is this the line you would speak in that last moment? "Hey, but they aren't free over there"? Is that the voice you would offer up to the world given one last glimpse or thing to say about all of it before the bombs fell?


Pere Ubu dijo:

GRVTR

The issue remains, they wish to be a violent, repressive power which invades smaller nations that don't wish battle with them.

Name one country Iran is intending on invading. Name one country Iran HAS invaded, other than Iraq (which attacked THEM).


jim dijo:

GRVTR

Iranian women are beautiful.


RC dijo:

GRVTR

I wouldn't say that Islam is the problem there in Iran, but the Ayatollahs and their interpretation of the Faith certainly are to be feared. But before, it was the Shah's goons who were the repressors. And before that, another cabal of paranoids. That is why I suggested that a history of the religious influence on politics in Iran be explained and illustrated. Iran is very far from being a freedom of expression kind of place and if you are a Bahai you got out of there long ago. Most of my Iranian friends are Bahai. They haven't lived in Iran for decades.
There is a very big lesson to be learned if one looks at how disastrous the mixing of politics and religion has been in Iran.
It's country run by a cult on steroids. Kind of like Neoconism.
All the same, there is absolutely no rationality to bombing Iran unless you need a major distraction, which the US Executive {and now perhaps executionary} Branch needs very badly.
I think they are just deciding about what would be the best timing.
The only hope at present is if the US military decides not to act on orders, blows the whistle, and calls a War Crime a War Crime.
That is my sincere desire and I think it is a precedent that needs to be set.


somegirl dijo:

GRVTR

beautiful.

careful though, i'm not sure if seeing iranians as human is considered a terrorist act yet, but i'm sure it's a-coming.


Ed dijo:

GRVTR

I think it's a little too late to bring rationality into this debate.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

you are probably right, Ed. but you know. with the understanding that all we do is insignficant to begin with, why not.


NLinStPaul dijo:

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Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it.


NLinStPaul dijo:

GRVTR

I forgot to write in that last comment, the quote is from Mahatma Gandhi.


David Howard dijo:

GRVTR

Las fotos son muy bellas y conmovedoras. Mil gracias por su talento, compasión y dedicación a la paz mundial.


Cyrus X. dijo:

GRVTR

The irony is that the "Islamic Republic" of Iran is no different than "neo-conservative" America.

It's based on a one-dimensional theology that intrinsically thwarts anything, anybody, any concept that doesn't fall in line with it.

As an Iranian-American myself, we're having to defend our culture from orientalism and try educating the duh-masses spawned by the Bush Administration, yet at the same time are trying to purge the nation of Iran from the nastiness which is the obscene totalitarianism.

Try living in Iran. Not visiting. Drop everything and try to live there.

No such thing as CHOICE in Iran.
No such thing as SECULARISM in Iran.
No such thing as FREEDOM - "AZADI" in Iran.

I wonder, Mr. Unapologetic Mexican, how would you like a Mexico that turns into an outright police state?

You need more Iranian friends, my brother.

The only word you've learned in Farsi seems to be "azadi", which is ironic in a pathetic way.

You see, the religious/Islamic mafia which runs Iran has labeled everything in Iran as "Azadi" the same way that "Freedom" is a ubiquitous label slapped across America by its own corrupt owners/politicians.

Apparently you've not noticed that your own Orwellian fears in United States of America have already manifested themselves in the Islamic Republic of Iran....


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

Well, Cyrus, I'm not really sure why you feel the need to be so hostile. I do not claim to be an expert on Iran!

And my point is not that Iran is free or a Democratic nation. Only that this discussion of the Repressive nature of Iran is a non-sequitur at this point. And that if my government is to bomb another country, and innocent people to suffer behind this, I want to look at their faces as fellow humans first. Even if only in a foto.


Kai dijo:

GRVTR

Cyrus, I've spent plenty of time in the Iranian American community, among both Persian and Bahai friends who would disagree with your militant attitude (in Farsi if you think that matters so much). You do not have a monopoly on expatriate sentiment.

I also know Cuban Americans who want to bomb Castro, and many who would vehemently oppose such insanity. You don't have to be Cuban to take a side in that debate either.

The only thing I find pathetic is someone who reacts to open-hearted and open-minded humanization and socio-cultural exploration -- as Nez has offered up in this post -- with such silly arrogance and spastic hostility.

Nez, thanks again for the post. More humanization, more reaching out, more cross-cultural understanding, is always good, even if it's incomplete, even if it includes mistakes; as opposed to the hard-hearted, violently paternalistic savior-complexes you see reflected by some of these drive-by critics.

Peace.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

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thank you bro. always welcome.


kactus dijo:

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Nez, this is beyond beautiful.


indianoguy dijo:

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WOW Great pics
So Iranians are human too, Why don't I get to see this in the media :-|


sundance dijo:

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David Howard said it all. I, too, send my thanks for a glimpse of humanity.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

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ah, i forgot to thank señor howard! what beautiful words he did leave. gracias, amigo! mil gracias para todas tus palabras. :)

thank you and you are quite welcome, sundance.

--

kactus, gracias. good to see you.


Adam Stanhope dijo:

GRVTR

The "Iranian Woman with Video Camera" picture appears to have been taken in China or at a Chinese settlement. The Asian child in the background is one clue, but the painted buildings behind her with ceramic "bamboo" interlocking roof tiles is the giveaway.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

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yes, adam, i had doubts about that one, as well, due to the younger girl. thanks.


Adam Stanhope dijo:

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Those tiles are quintessentially Chinese - as is the red enamel painted wood below.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

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thank you again, i've removed it. i'll replace it with one i know is in iran and serves a similar purpose.


Jill Carpenter dijo:

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This is interesting


deb dijo:

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Beautiful! I received the link for these from a friend. I am very grateful to have seen them. I particularly enjoyed the woman holding the sign. Thank you for posting these!



Gabe dijo:

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Thank you for this wonderful post. Iran is a beautiful country and what the U.S. needs is open dialogue, not threats of violence from Bush/Cheney.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

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thanks for adding a vote for reason and a sense of humanity, gabe. that's always welcome.


bri dijo:

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This makes me want to cry.

And anyone who could look at these pictures and not understand why you put them here is an idiot -- and, given the current insane political climate, a DANGEROUS idiot.

To all the inhumans out there who can look at these images and not understand: please, for the love of whatever god (or lack thereof) that you believe in, recognize that there are only monsters in the closet until you turn on the light.

There are nasty governments all over the world, including our own. Governments -- power structures (not the people they govern), that may (or may not) be a threat to each other and/or you. If they truly threaten you, and you are absolutely sure that you need to fight them, then perhaps you do.

But before you reflexively jump to believe what the warmongers and opportunists want you to think, take a look at your children -- or the children around you, or your beautiful girlfriend, or whomever -- and realize who is condemned to suffer and die when you advocate war. They are Humans. they laugh. They cry.

They Suffer. And Die.

Please think about it. Please.

* * *


naj dijo:

GRVTR

Blessed be your taste!

This is such a beautiful design!

You seem to know about "image", and so I am sure you know the Iranian Cinema too.

Wars of image, need to be fought with image; and I am happy for Iran, to be a picturesque little jewel!

Do people know that Iran fills a significant entries on the UNESCO's heritage list?

I invite you to http://iranfacts.blogspot.com for sharing a passion for peace and one for the image.


Neil Harrison dijo:

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Well I've finally seen that some Americans exist that can see outside their own borders and that people can actually live without an americanised view of peace, liberty and hope.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

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thank you bri.

--

and naj, i did visit your blog. i love those pics that the kids drew. i hope you dont mind if i add one or two here and credit you. :)

--

yes, Neil. we are here, please remember us, and there are many of us abhorrent of our own international war policy and many of the doings of our own government.


ron dijo:

GRVTR

Make no mistake about the American military,if they are told to go to war,then war it will be.The rush to war can be stopped but it will have to come from congress(united)or the people.I personally think a war with Iran would be a mistake practical,logical and moral reasons.I suppose thier bellicose attitude stems from a deep seated insecurity.When enough Iranians are sufficently unhappy with rule by mullahs they will change thier govt. just as they did with the shah.Every govt. in the world thats controlled by a religion has major problems,look around.


ron dijo:

GRVTR

what is a short while,i waited 7 days sence my last one.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

yes, the military's job is to follow orders, no doubt. i agree. if they are ordered to go to war, then go to war they will.

i agree that it would be a mistake. too bad you and i arent the Deciders, eh? :)

iran may have a "bellicose" attitude...but i wonder what we call the attitude of a hyperpower nation that bombs other countries on faulty information...and doesnt even apologize??? this attitude makes "bellicose" look like "affectionate"!

and as you reference with talk of theological influence on govt, i am also troubled by bush's confidence in a war that was ordained—in his mind—by some religious phantasm.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

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regarding time spent waiting on comments getting approved, its just when i get to it, bro. i do this for free. :)


mark dijo:

GRVTR

I wonder why u forgot to mention religious forces. Not a single picture of a temple or those who forces saria.
We all know that GWB is a rich and dumb man (unlike the ones in the background who are smart, most likely smarter than you!) and he says things like "3rd world war" and Iran currently has a funny, brave and wise president but I'm really afraid that religion takes over Iran :( ... right after US bombs Iran.


Mark dijo:

GRVTR

Thank you for the beautiful photos. It also made me sad to think of yet another beautiful country hijacked by religious fanatics, much like the USA. I read some of the comments, and think some of you want to have it both ways. If someone brings up politics, you ridicule them for not getting the art or humanity, while wanting to make a political statement at the same time. Of course this is political AND an appeal to universal humanness.

And just because the Bushies are a bunch of liars doesn't excuse the lies (I'm thinking Holocaust here, and the statement that there are no gay people in Iran) of Iran's leaders, and the dangerous path he has put that country on.

Be honest: You included the street billboards of Abu Ghraib to make a point, not just because of the beautiful colors. The opposite point is also true. where is the Arab outrage of the bombing of civilians - sometimes hundreds of innocents at a time - by their fellow Arabs? If you're a true advocate for humanity you can't just be against American atrocities.

My hope is that someone in Iran has a similar blog about the beautiful Americans like us. Is that allowed?


Mark dijo:

GRVTR

Thank you for the beautiful photos. It also made me sad to think of yet another beautiful country hijacked by religious fanatics, much like the USA. I read some of the comments, and think some of you want to have it both ways. If someone brings up politics, you ridicule them for not getting the art or humanity, while wanting to make a political statement at the same time. Of course this is political AND an appeal to universal humanness.

And just because the Bushies are a bunch of liars doesn't excuse the lies (I'm thinking Holocaust here, and the statement that there are no gay people in Iran) of Iran's leaders, and the dangerous path he has put that country on.

Be honest: You included the street billboards of Abu Ghraib to make a point, not just because of the beautiful colors. The opposite point is also true. where is the Arab outrage of the bombing of civilians - sometimes hundreds of innocents at a time - by their fellow Arabs? If you're a true advocate for humanity you can't just be against American atrocities.

My hope is that someone in Iran has a similar blog about the beautiful Americans like us. Is that allowed?


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

good point. the president of iran lied about gay people and may have a different view of history than some other nations. we should bomb his country. let me guess. you live in....the USA!

mark, in case its not immediately obvious, you don't get to decide if i'm a "true advocate for humanity," and i'd never claim to be one.

regarding your final line, you are allowed to hope all you want. i say go for it. it's a good thing. after all, you are a self-proclaimed "beautiful american" and i'd guess that means you have lots and lots and lots of hope. and if you get tired of hoping, you know what? you can make one yourself. engage that good ole entrepreneurial American spirit.

thanks for taking the time and your comments. please stick to one email address, though, if you would.


Trine Schou dijo:

GRVTR

To whom it may concern,

We have found a photo on the website of "Dangerous Intersection" which is called "election day II". How do I get in contact with the owner of the picture!?

Best regards

Trine Schou
Producer


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

Trine, I have no idea what you are trying to communicate. I'm sorry you waited this long for a response. I think I meant to come back and forgot. I think i didn't know how to react. but If you want to write me and explain, do so at nlxj[remove this text]@theunapologeticmexicanDOTorg. or leave a comment here.


glinda dijo:

GRVTR

This is such a powerful collection of images. Thank you so much for posting them, and for your writing.

I pray, daily, that the US (I no longer feel like it's my country. I just... can't.) doesn't invade Iran, doesn't bomb it into oblivion. I fear, daily, that my prayers will not be answered.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

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thank you, glinda. i feel very much as you do.


Emily Michaud dijo:

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I pray for the people, animals and growing things in Iran. If the US bombs them it bombs me and I will feel the same way Iranians do.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez Author Profile Page dijo:

GRVTR

"what hurts one of us hurts us all"


Uncle B dijo:

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Some American comments are very enlightened, but none wish to take responsibility to make changes in gradual incremental steps or simply "by example" in leading the world to a better way! On the brink of the greatest depression to ever fall on the western world, we can hardly proclaim superiority to anyone - We are following the U.S.S.R. into receivership, forever! We have tent-cities of hungry, underprivileged unemployed, underfed Americans rising in our city parks and play areas as we speak! Our system does not work! General Motors, the "pride of the line" of our corporate endeavors gasps and in its its last breath, begs for government bail-outs! Shame! We Fail! We have no right to criticize other systems! Our system served the uber-rich only! They will not suffer depression, recession, cutbacks, or even small changes in lifestyle! We the people pay the price! Our system is corrupt and needs massive adjustment and the depression upon us now will temper our steel and change our sense of values forever. If the war-mongering murderer Bush doesn't destroy Iran before leaving office, Obama surely will not! His mission is for peaceful co-operation and he will change the world. - message from Canada -