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How iRan: An Imprisoned Iranian-Canadian Activist’s Story Told Using A Library And Some MP3 Players
September 24, 2013
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Hossein Derakhshan/an MP3 player (Photos: Hessam M. Armandehi/Wikimedia Commons and Getty)

Hossein Derakhshan/MP3 player (Photos: Wikimedia/Hessam M. Armandehi/Getty)

Here's a unique way to tell an important story: playwright Ken Cameron has created a theatre installation called How iRan. The show uses iPods to guide audience members through an art installation based on the experiences of Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian journalist currently serving a nearly 20-year sentence in Iran. uses iPods to guide audience members through an art installation based on the experiences of Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian journalist currently serving a nearly 20-year sentence in Iran.

The show is being exhibited in Kitchener, Ontario starting tomorrow, Wednesday September 25, as part of the IMPACT multicultural festival. Visitors choose one of three iPods and are guided by an audio track through the stacks of a library in Kitchener, Ontario, where artwork by ex-pat Iranians who live in Kitchener is on display. Since each iPod is set to shuffle, the installation can be viewed in a huge number of different ways. 

"Each story is randomly tailored to you and you alone," Cameron told Strombo.com. "With over a million possible story combinations, you are guaranteed a unique experience." 

Cameron's work is based in part on the life of Derakhshan, known as The Blogfather by many journalists for his active role in starting the blogging revolution in Iran. According to Cameron, "without Hossein's work the 2011 protests against the government would not have been as effective."

Derakhshan was arrested at his family home in Tehran in 2008 and sentenced to 19-and-a-half years in prison in 2010 after being convicted of creating anti-government propaganda. In June 2011, the Iranian appeals court upheld his conviction. 

How iRan will be on display in Kitchener until September 28 (check out the IMPACT festival programme for details), and then it's headed to Calgary, where it will be a part of the High Performance Rodeo of multidisciplinary performance in January, 2014.

Derakhshan sat down for an interview with George in 2006, in which he shared his views about Iranian politics, bloggers, tolerance and why he believed at the time that Iran needed nuclear weapons.

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