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Political Wall Writing as Activism

Mona Hedayati

Political Wall Writing as Activism is a discussion on my new video-recorded performance, Death to… (2018), that explores the practice of wall writing, a rare manifestation of political dissent in Iran, in the absence of formal channels of democratic protest. In an effort to contextualize this practice, I will first situate it within its distinct historical background and analyze the dominant rhetoric surrounding it, then compare and contrast the coordinates of this type of activism versus the narrative I offer in the video, and finally discuss the shift from language to performativity, before positioning this discourse within its grand narrative.

Keywords: Activism, Censorship, Iran-US Relations, Cultural Clash, Language Barrier

Mona Hedayati (b. Tehran, 1985) is an Iranian-Canadian artist and researcher with a particular interest in investigating the use of language as a visual and verbal hybrid. Mona has exhibited and presented her work internationally as well as across Canada. Throughout her career, Mona has been exploring the notions of the gaze, surveillance, and the systems of power and the role of global capitalism therein.  Her current project deals with digital textualities as an interactive platform, drawing a parallel between linguistic cognition and pure formal properties of text.