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By Helia Darabi 

Aerial view of Tehran, 2012. Photo by Mohseen Shahmardi.

On June 14, 2009, the municipality of Tehran stated that three million protestors had taken to the streets. This number was unprecedented in recent times. People marched against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection, his failed economic programs and his strict upholding of barriers on freedom of speech. He had, in the first four years of his presidency, faithfully continued the Islamic Revolution’s restrictive cultural agenda.

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy toward art and culture was indomitable from the start. The…

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