Less free as a transgender in Sweden than in Iran

The author and film director Ramesh Safavi was born as a boy in Iran. She lives in Stockholm after having undergone sex reassignment therapy. The author and critic Lina Kalmteg has interviewed her about writing and being trans gender in Iran and about life in exile.

Role of women in Iranian science fiction and fantasy

Over the last two decades, the publication and sale of science fiction and fantasy literature has increased significantly in Iran. For a long time, these books have more or less only involved a male reading circle in the country, but something has happened. Behind the publications, the writings and the translations, there are today a majority of women.

Go back to your house

The author, publisher and critic Fereshteh Ahmadi’s states in her essay that “vagueness” is a keyword for the understanding of contemporary stories by Iranian female authors. What is the situation for literature in today’s Iran? And what are the conditions for the female authors?

Language and rights in Iranian Queer community

Sina Kiani is a documentary filmmaker and photographer from Iran, with human rights and LGBT perspectives as main topics. For the Dissident blog Kiani gives an analysis of the situation for LGBT organisations in Iran. 


Yasaman R. Choube was born in Iran and now lives in exile. For the Dissent blog she has written a moving story about love, oppression and loss.

Online publication in Iran—a new arena for censored writers

The use of the Internet is growing in Iran—the country has more than forty-six million Internet users and half of the population have access to smart phones. This opens up new channels for publishers to make banned or censored books accessible. Azadeh Iravani, publisher at the online publishing house Nogaam, tells of how they use technology in order go circumvent censorship.

Poems in exile

Iranian poet, LGBT and human rights activist Elham Malekpoor has published several collections of poetry, most of which have been censored in Iran. She particularly deals with child labour and queer rights. Due to the threats against her she left Iran in September 2012. We publish two newly written poems by her.

Before the lunar eclipse

Iran is a country full of paradoxes. While the state has enacted some of the strictest laws in the world when it comes to same-sex relationships, sex change for homosexuals has become a thriving industry encouraged by the regime itself. In this way, they can claim that homosexuality doesn’t exist.

“Living my life naturally was considered a ‘crime’”

Being gay in Iran has a very high price. Especially if you are a writer and open about your sexuality. The 21-year-old Payam Feili was the first writer in Iran who openly wrote about his sexual orientation, in a number of works which he has been unable to publish in Iran.

To write and to live in the shadow

The first blog was started in Iran in the beginning of 2001. Since then, the blog culture within the country has grown and there are over 70,000 blogs by Iranians, both inside and outside the country. What are these blogs about? The blogger Marzieh Rasouli describes the phenomenon as a kind of a guerilla network. 


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