Getting more mileage: Iranian artists-in-exile find a vehicle for protest
Sedan once gifted to a Romanian dictator puts an artistic spin on opposition to Tehran’s oppressive regime
At the Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual gathering of political activists and dissidents, attendees are confronted with the challenge of making the world care about long-running tyrannies. The passage of decades makes it that much harder to draw international attention to the plight of Cubans, say, or Zimbabweans — and harder still because newer causes, such as the tragedy of the Uyghurs, clamour for our collective concern.
The forum awards the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent to those who bring invention and imagination to their activism to alert the world to their causes. Previous winners have included Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Indonesian comedian Sakdiyah Ma’ruf and Emmanuel Jal, a hip-hop artist from South Sudan.
If art, comedy and music have long been deployed in political causes, one of this year’s award-winning projects breaks new ground: it is a car...