Fotograf: Tomislav Stjepic
My right to freedom of expression and press freedom…
… existed during the first half of my childhood in Iran. My rights were then gradually kidnapped in the aftermath of the revolution 1979.
I came to live in a context where you are always controlled and limited in what you can say. It demands immense strength, but you learn to live under such conditions.
I learned to fight for my freedom of expression.
Getting access to freedom of expression later in life was like a new life experience.
Safe haven Malmö…
… an opportunity for me, as a writer and an activist. An opportunity to communicate with other people and reconnect with my contacts in and outside Iran. An opportunity to create platforms between networks here and there.
Continued life in Sweden…
20 March 2012. The day I found out I had been granted a permanent right of residence in Sweden. It is one of the best news I have ever received. One of the happiest days ever in my life. It opened the door to another reality with other conditions. I could think more long-term. Plan my life differently. How to maintain my contacts and networks.
Give and get. It is about how we help each other.
To see society from an outside eye. To make a connection. To create integration between the newly arrived and those already living here. To create dynamic communications.
To untap the potential that exists between the city, the community and its inhabitants. To mobilize activity.
3 May – World Press Freedom Day
A glass of fresh air. You can drink it. You can feel it.
Something you receive and something you want to give back.
The feeling of beauty. As a river flowing through the city.
The smell of non-prison. The smell of people outside the prison.
More than 50 journalists in Iran are imprisoned. Why? Because of being conscious.
The feeling of freedom of expression is one thing. The complicated mechanism for its exertion, another. Even the unheard voices are a threat to freedom of expression.
The invisible voices and the ignorance.
Even in countries where there is freedom of expression, there is a need to remember that nothing is permanent. Even that which has been gained and which is there in front of you must be taken care of to not gradually be lost.
Societies must be more including. Communication must exist between all citizens and groups. If else, segregation risks growing to a threat towards freedom of expression.
What puts freedom of expression in danger is not only oppression itself, but also getting used to being suppressed. Even worse is the silence from those living far from oppression.
What is required to maintain freedom of expression can never be forgotten. Never.