Iran Protesters' Twitter Revolution On Display In Paris When Tehran banned the media from covering massive protests after the country's presidential election last year, ordinary Iranians used cell phones and social-networking and image-sharing websites such as Facebook and YouTube to communicate. Now, those images are on exhibit.
NPR logo

Iran Protesters' Twitter Revolution On Display In Paris

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/127136155/127206324" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Iran Protesters' Twitter Revolution On Display In Paris

Iran Protesters' Twitter Revolution On Display In Paris

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/127136155/127206324" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Eleanor Beardsley has this report on the art that came out of it, now at a gallery in Paris.

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY: Orash is one of the Green Ribbon's leaders. He came to Paris from Iran a year and a half ago. He doesn't want to give his last name in case he returns, and out of solidarity with the exhibit's anonymous video artists. Orash says last year's demonstrations ended the isolation of millions of Iranians.

ORASH: Personally, myself, I thought that, well, I don't want this regime, but I am the only one. It's no good to shout, it's no good to write, to create. But after this event, I saw that millions and millions and millions of peoples are thinking the same way. So it gave new hope for Iranians all over the world, and it's created a solidarity beyond imagination.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

BEARDSLEY: Scottish visitor Stephen Riley says he's seeing this footage for the first time.

MONTAGNE: The contrast between the physical arms of the militia and communication arms of the protesters, which seems to amount to mobile phones and cameras, is quite a striking paradox.

BEARDSLEY: Riley is with his friend, a 50-year-old Iranian who calls herself Aryan H., because she also fears giving her last name. Aryan H. has lived in Paris for 20 years. In 1979, she demonstrated to overthrow the shah and bring in Ayatollah Khomeini. She says many young people still blame her generation for that mistake.

ARYAN H: My generation, we were very ashamed, because it was our fault what's happened to them.

BEARDSLEY: The latest demonstrations have helped bring the two generations back together, says Aryan H.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

BEARDSLEY: In the gallery's tall windows hang giant reproductions of some of the Twitter messages sent during the protests. It's getting harder to log onto the Net, reads one. Our phone line was cut and we lost Internet, says another.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

BEARDSLEY: A 27-year-old Green Ribbon member who also wants to remain anonymous says this chanting went on every night for more than six months after the election, turning what was once a mantra of the Islamic revolution into a protest call. She says the nightly ritual brought people closer.

U: They went to the top of their house or behind their window, and they say Allah-u-Akbar, and in front of your house there's another house, and there's someone there who says Allah-u-Akbar, and they know each other after, you know, after one month. And it's so kind.

BEARDSLEY: For NPR News, I'm Eleanor Beardsley in Paris.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.