Butler University

Body, Aesthetics and Protest Art

This article examines the aesthetics of the body in protest art in Iran. Since the contested presidential election of 2009, echoed in 2013, Iranian art has emerged as a critical language for protest with a particular attention to the body. Covering a wide range of articulations, from painted bodies wrapped in colorful ribbons, to crude but poignant pen-on-paper sketches and political cartoons that bestow parody as the means for protesting the election debates, creativity emerged as a salient strategy for dissent. This paper focuses in particular on protest art, as artistic expressions that carve out a niche for public debate and social engagement, compelling agency with macro politics through engagement with the most forbidden intimate space – that of the body.

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