June 18, 2023 will mark 40 years since 10 Baha’i women were hanged in Shiraz. Their only ‘crime’ was their refusal to renounce their beliefs in a faith that promotes the principles of gender equality, unity, justice, and truthfulness. This collection highlights Baha’i Blog content relating to the ongoing persecution of Baha’is in Iran.
This mural created by Harsh Raman for the #Education is not a crime campagn found on a wall in New Dehli, India features a 3D image of a young boy trapped in the wall and reaching out for pages from a book. The book has torn out pages falling to the ground which read “Education is strength,” “Education is future,” “Education is freedom,” and the campaign slogan #Education is not a crime.
Harsh Raman is creative director of Harkat Studios and he works to ‘spread ideas through street art’ across New Delhi. For Raman, art has historically been displayed in galleries and this absence of art for the masses made him want to explore with street art.
“Street art acts as a social equaliser in a country such as India with huge economic disparities,” commented Raman, “you can be rich or poor but everyone can enjoy public art and is free to have their own interpretation of it. It’s art for everyone but can be owned by no one.”
The Baha’is are Iran’s largest religious minority, and the Iranian government has persecuted them since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Businesses are torched, people are fired from their jobs, thousands are harassed and jailed, and hundreds have been killed. The government also bans the Baha’is from teaching and studying in Iranian universities. (Read some background to the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran here).
Naysan is passionate about using the arts and media to explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. Back in 2011, Naysan started up the Baha’i Blog project, channeling his experiences in both media and technology companies to help create a hub for Baha’i-inspired content online.