Tehran, August 2014
When you do drama in Iran, whether you are an actor, a director or a playwright, you have to face up to something called « censorship ». This censorship is a filter on the content of the creations, enforced by the government, and more precisely by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance or Ershad Ministry. The role of this Ministry is to make sure that the plays that will be performed in public don’t contain anything challenging the established ideology.
Although the censorship is currently ideological, it is not a measure which was born with the Islamic Revolution.
NB: The translation from persian to english is available in the second part of the video.
The control process occurs at several times during the creation, it consists in three main steps.
More specifically, the step right before the first performance includes two stages.
If everything is in order, the Ministry gives the permission to perform to the artists. But in case where some ideas displease them, the show can be seriously compromised.
All the more so as this “jury”, made of about 5 persons, always comes out at the last moment since they need to see the final version of the show that is going to be performed.
Even though this censorship process seems to have become a routine for the Iranian directors we met, some of them still seem to want to find some ways to avoid it : is it possible? Can you not carry out the required modifications? Is there a way not to have to get a license to play?