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Iranian Theater Forum Statement, January 19, 2020
■ News ■ ID : 7952 ■ 2020/01/19 20:23 ■

Iranian Theater Forum Statement, January 19, 2020


Voltaire says: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

We have gone through tough times. Although the past is still hunting us, we look forward to bright days, hoping for peace; since it is not only food and water, but hope that keeps man alive.

The noble and zealous theater family in Iran has endured difficulties, shortages and sanctions along with the Iranian people in the past months and years and will withstand them in future too. No doubt, this dark hurricane will be gone and we will taste the sweet taste of smile together.

Numerous incidents have troubled our tolerant nation in the past months and years. The mistakes some officials have made, have unfortunately created an atmosphere of distrust as well.  However, the situation can be improved and the problems could be resolved through honesty and dialogue between the state and the public.

If a number of artists from the theater family has refused to participate in the International Theater Festival to show their protest, this civil protest should be considered as an opportunity and not seen as a riot or violating social norms.

In case artists cannot ask for their demands peacefully, how can they create works in the fields of culture, literature and art? How should theater artists, whose basic rights including job security, job satisfaction, freedom of speech as well as individual and collective dignity have been ignored through years, express themselves and show they exist?

Does it feel right if they do not voice their problems along with the public to those in charge?

Do the officials think of themselves superior to other people and only expect obeisance from them?

This is a horrible approach to repel the majority instead of attracting them. These people, young and old, are all true children of this land. Nobody has the right to limit Iran to a certain group, with any political reason. We respect both those who take part in the festival and those who have decided not to do so. They are both dear to us without a doubt. Let’s not doubt their loyalty and honor since a future without them seems fearsome.

The International Theater Festival is not the whole glory of our theater; our days and nights are beautiful because of diversity of thoughts and perspectives. Please avoid politicizing the festival and what happens in it.

An air of threat and intimidation brings along nothing but despair and death. Let’s think about kindness and generosity. We are all children of Iran.

The Iranian Theater Forum asks the officials to avoid emotional and hastily actions such as threatening artists who protest to be banned from work and let civil protests go on their way so that in future we can see a calm society without violence.

In the end, the Iranian Theater Forum declares that it supports all the artists with every decision and opinion (either those who attend the festival, those who have decided not to participate, or those who have changed their mind and want to come back to the festival). We all wish for the glory of Iran.

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