Just in case, I’d like to share my posts to the Building Speech Wiki here as well:
Persepolis and Speech
Persepolis is a 2007 French animated film written and directed by Marjane Satrapi with Vincent Paronnaud. The film is based on Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The story is a memoir about Satrapi’s childhood in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution and adolescent exile in Vienna.
Persepolis and its relation with Speech
Persepolis examines the self-policing nature of patriarchy. Living under the Islamist regime in Iran, Marjane states: “The regime had understood that one person leaving her house while asking herself: ‘Are my trousers long enough?’ ‘Is my veil in place?’ ‘Can my makeup be seen?’ ‘Are they going to whip me?’ no longer asks herself: ‘Where is my freedom of thought?’ ‘Where is my freedom of speech?’ ‘My life, is it livable?’ ‘What’s going on in the political prisons?’…When we’re afraid, we lose all sense of analysis and reflection. Our fear paralyzes us.”
Fear is a great obstacle towards freedom of speech. Fear, e.g. of being called “fat” in America or “amoral” in Iran, makes women monitor their physical looks and behavior. Thus, patriarchic systems minimize an important threat to their regime: a free female mind.
Western vs Iran Feminism
“Wearing the veil is synonymous with emancipation” (Persepolis 2, 144).
While Western feminists see wearing the veil as a form of repression, some Iranian feminists do see the veil as pro-woman act . They believe that using the veil protects them from being commoditized as sex objects and enables them to act and move freely in the public sphere. In “Islam and Feminisms: An Iranian Case-Study”, author Haleh Afshar says that “once women have freed themselves from the shackles of femininity and its demands for sexuality, they become human beings; they can gain the gaze and cease to be the object of attention.”
In Marjane’s Persepolis, sex seems to be primarily liberating and a way to express her rebellion against norms (e.g. proudly declaring she is no longer a virgin to her friends, etc.). At the same time, in order to have an acceptable sexual relationship in Iran, the main character enters into an early marriage. Persepolis doesn’t choose sides on “who is to say that women definitively do or do not want Iran’s moral codes?” Both the comic and the film rather advocate women’s self determination and individual voices.
Persepolis won the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. In her acceptance speech, Satrapi said “Although this film is universal, I wish to dedicate the prize to all Iranians.” The film also won Best First Work (Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi) and Best Writing – Adaptation (Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi) at the César Awards (France). Other honors include Best Foreign Language Film at São Paulo International Film Festival, Rogers People’s Choice Award for Most Popular International Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival, Grand Prize at the London Film Festival, and Special Jury Prize at Cinemanila International Film Festival.
Although the film was critically acclaimed by a number of sources, such as Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, Time magazine, Empire magazine, among others, Persepolis also received complaints from a number of countries.
Iran Farabi Foundation, a government-connected organization, sent a letter to the French embassy in Tehran saying, “This year the Cannes Film Festival, in an unconventional and unsuitable act, has chosen a movie about Iran that has presented an unrealistic face of the achievements and results of the glorious Islamic Revolution in some of its parts”. However, the Iranian cultural authorities allowed limited screening in Tehran.
The film was also dropped from the Bangkok International Film Festival, when Festival director Chattan Kunjara na Ayudhya agreed with the Iranian Embassy that it would be beneficial if the film was not shown. Lebanon initially banned the film because it was “offensive to Iran and Islam.” In Tunisia, there was a demonstration the day after the private television station Nessma showed the film.
- Persepolis on the official Cannes Film Festival site: http://www.festival-cannes.com/index.php/en/archives/film/4434938
- The Importance of Voice: Feminism and Satrapi’s Persepolis Series by Karen Rustad: http://nosve.com/writing/satrapifeminism.pdf
- Persepolis’ Iran Timeline: http://libwww.freelibrary.org/onebook/obop10/Persepolis_timeline.pdf
Scatter Chat (by Hacktivismo)
Scatter Chat is “a free, open source application designed to facilitate secure and private real-time communication over the Internet. ” Scatter Chat is an instant messaging client based on Gaim (now known as Pidgin), written by J. Salvatore Testa II, and released at the H.O.P.E. Number Six conference in New York City on July 22, 2006.
Scatter Chat lets users connect to messaging networks such as AIM and Yahoo, but also allows to communicate with others using Scatter Chat over these networks under the veil of encryption.
The software is intended for non-technical activists and dissidents communicating through Internet servers subverted by oppressive governments. It is also useful in free countries whose governments are trying to better national security by spying on its citizens.
Hacktivismo is an offshoot of CULT OF THE DEAD COW (cDc), whose beliefs include access to information as a basic human right. It was founded in 1999. The group’s beliefs are described fully in The Hacktivismo Declaration, which seeks to apply the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to the Internet. Oxblood Ruffin, the director of Hacktivismo, has argued forcefully against definitions of hacktivism that include web defacements or denial-of-service attacks. Hacktivismo has also authored its own software license agreement, the Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement (HESSLA). The HESSLA prohibits use or modification that would violate human rights or introduce features that spy on the user.
Its security features include “perfect forward secrecy, immunity from replay attacks, and limited resistance to traffic analysis, ” all armored through a pro-actively secure design. According to lead developer J. Salvatore Testa II, “the anonymity and encryption that Scatter Chat provides ensures that both the identities and messages of activists remain a mystery, even to well-funded totalitarian governments.” James Thornton in his review at Softonic affirms that Scatter Chat, although it “drains more bandwidth than most IM clients and takes a while to set up”, “represents a great way to make sure that your private conversations stay private, by allowing you to connect securely through Gaim encryption technology” .
On the other hand, Steven J. Murdoch in his article “Protocol design is hard — Flaws in Scatter Chat “ identified several non-critical protocol flaws that introduce a vulnerability within certain threat models, which are capability probing and spoofing attack, lack of forward secrecy, and collision attacks. Murdoch suggests that, while the new OTR-protocol –based version arrives, “a similar result can be achieved with GAIM, and official OTR plugin then configuring them to use Tor, albeit without secure file transfer.”
- “Hacktivismo: News”, n.d. http://www.hacktivismo.com/news/.
- “Scatter Chat Release at HOPE Number Six – YouTube”, n.d. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX3RM87OXlc.
- “Scatterchat – Alive or Dead? Portable?? | Flyninja Dot Net”, n.d. http://www.flyninja.net/?p=149.
- Edge, Jake. “Scatter Chat for encrypted instant messaging [LWN.net]”, July 26, 2006. http://lwn.net/Articles/192924/.
- “Hacktivismo Declaration – Wikilivres”, n.d. http://wikilivres.info/wiki/Hacktivismo_Declaration.
- “Hacktivismo – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”, n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacktivismo.
- “Hacktivismo: News”, n.d. http://www.hacktivismo.com/news/.
- “Scatter Chat – Download”, n.d. http://scatterchat.en.softonic.com/.
- “Light Blue Touchpaper » Blog Archive » Protocol design is hard — Flaws in Scatter Chat”, August 11, 2006. http://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2006/08/11/protocol-design-is-hard-%E2%80%94-flaws-in-scatterchat/.