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Protest Against Censorship At Tehran's International Book Fair


A scene from the 22nd Tehran International Book Fair

A scene from the 22nd Tehran International Book Fair

KetabKhane88 talks about a category of Iranian society that "does not exist" in government eyes, and effort through "The Iranian Homosexual International Book Fair" to win back that community's existence:

Book publishing is facing tough government censorship. There are a few who manage to escape heavy censorship and release their books onto the market. The content of most of those books has been watered down -- either by government-appointed agents responsible for censorship or, worse, via self-censorship by writers themselves.

Certainly, there are a few in Iranian society who "do not exist" in the government's eyes. If someone doesn't exist, they cannot write and hence cannot release their books into the market. Such writers, who are threatened with "nonexistence," either practice self-censorship and behind a mask obtain a permit to publish a book or, by using a pseudonym, continue living their literary and intellectual life within a freer but equally dangerous environment, the Internet.
Or they quit...

We, the homosexuals of Iran, "do exist" -- and this existence is not only a physical presence in cities and villages. We are present in society; we are having an impact on society while ourselves being influenced by it. We "live" in this society.

Some of us write, compose poems, and create thoughts. People don't read us because they don't have access to our writings.

Concurrent with the Tehran International Book Fair, a set of books written by Iranian homosexuals has been posted on the weblog The Iranian Homosexual International Book Fair and is accessible to all Iranian readers.

This is a step taken by us toward you, so that by knowing each other better we can move toward a free society where the rights of every human being -- to live and produce thoughts and art -- is respected.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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