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That time 100,000 Iranian women protested against mandatory wearing of the hijab, 1979.

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There was once a strong belief among many Iranians that if they wanted something, then they just had to go out onto the street and demand it. This idea was fostered by the role many Iranians had in deposing Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and bringing back the radical Muslim cleric Ayatollah Khomeini from exile in France in 1979. This ended 2,500 years of Persian monarchy, replacing it with an Islamic Republic.

The Shah was seen as an autocratic, brutal, and oppressive dictator, who was attempting to westernize the country against the will of the people. The opposition to the Shah and his alleged evil western ways brought together an odd mix of Marxists, socialists, Islamic fundamentalists, and even the misguided media outlet the BBC. Together this unlikely coalition succeeded by demonstrations, strikes, marches, and news propaganda in forcing the Shah (and his supporters) to flee Iran and to bring in the Ayatollah and his Islamic revolution.

Many Iranians thought they were taking back control of their country for themselves. It wasn’t quite so simple. Political coalitions, no matter how well-meaning, only ever work in favor of those who appear to have the most power. The Ayatollah Khomeini was a figurehead around whom the country could unite. Therefore, Khomeini appeared to have the most power. Rather than working together to curtail the Khomeini’s influence, the socialists and the Marxists and the liberals all tried to win his support. This only confirmed to the Ayatollah Khomeini (and the Muslims who supported him) that he was in control.

An estimated one million people greeted the Ayatollah Khomeini’s arrival in Iran by Air France jet, in February 1979. By the end of March, the people had voted by an overwhelming margin of 99% to make Iran an Islamic Republic.

Though women were credited by the Ayatollah Khomeini for their essential role in bringing about the Iranian revolution, in early March 1979, he paid back their actions by implementing an edict that made it compulsory for all women to wear the hijab (veil) in public. Suddenly, any promise the Ayatollah offered of a new, better, fairer Iran was revealed as nothing more than a chimera. Khomeini was a hardline fundamentalist and he had no time for individual freedom—not when he knew what his invisible friend wanted. And Allah apparently wanted women covered up.

On March 8th, 1979, 100,000 women marched on the streets of Tehran against the mandatory wearing for all women of the hijab. Photographer Hengameh Golestan was present that day and believed it was her responsibility to document the demonstration as she was witnessing “something historic.”

It was a huge demonstration with women – and men – from all professions there, students, doctors, lawyers. We were fighting for freedom: political and religious, but also individual.

~Snip~

“They were demanding the freedom of choice. It wasn’t a protest against religion or beliefs, in fact many religious women joined the protest, this was strictly about women’s rights, it was all about having the option.”

~Snip~

I was walking beside this group of women, who were talking and joking. Everyone was happy for me to take their picture. You can see in their faces they felt joyful and powerful. The Iranian revolution had taught us that if we wanted something, we should go out into the street and demand it. People were so happy – I remember a group of nurses stopping some men in a car and telling them: “We want equality, so put on some scarves, too!” Everyone laughed.

I wanted to join in all the protests during the revolution, but I knew I had to go as a photographer. My first thought was: “It’s my responsibility to document this.” I’m rather small, so I was ducking in and out of the crowd, constantly taking photos. I took about 20 rolls of film. When the day was over, I ran home to develop them in my darkroom. I knew I had witnessed something historic. I was so proud of all the women. I wanted to show the best of us.

This turned out to be the last day women walked the streets of Tehran uncovered. It was our first disappointment with the new post-revolution rulers of Iran. We didn’t get the effect we had wanted. But when I look at this photo, I don’t just see the hijab looming over it. I see the women, the solidarity, the joy – and the strength we felt.

The women lost. The demonstration ended with the women being attacked and some even stabbed on the streets of Tehran. The men and their sexist, superstitious beliefs won. It’s a way of having power over women that continues to this day in many different forms.

Pioneering photographer Hengameh Golestan has been documenting life in Iran for 28 years, see more of her work here.
 
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See more photos, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.17.2017
09:40 am
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Someday is Now: The trailblazing political pop art of Sister Corita
09.06.2017
01:17 pm
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For those of us who worship at the altar of art and creativity, the career of Sister Corita serves as something like a proof that exciting and bracing art can come from any source. Another way of stating this is that if Sister Corita had never existed, the art-heads of the 1960s might have been obliged to invent her. Sister Corita was a peace activist, a nun, and a pop artist of considerable stature—all at the same time.

The woman who would later become known as Sister Corita was born Frances Kent in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in 1918, which incidentally means that she was 45 years old on the day that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed. Her large family moved to Los Angeles when she was young, where she would find educational mentors in a Catholic community of liberal nuns, namely the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart Order. They encouraged her to pursue art. In the 1950s she came upon an old silk screen at the art department of Immaculate Heart College and the wife of a Mexican silk-screen practitioner taught her how to clean and use it.

Her career can be said to have begun then; despite impressive productivity, however, it took about a decade for her work, which incorporated textual elements from the very start, to come into full maturity. The debt that Sister Corita owes artists like Andy Warhol and Peter Blake is evident everywhere, but it should be emphasized that the work of those two men lacked moral and spirital components that came to Sister Corita quite easily. When she zooms in on a package of Wonder Bread with emphasis on the words “Enriched Bread,” it’s almost impossible not to think of Jesus Christ. Warhol’s work has a moral element, for sure, but he wouldn’t have been as likely to meditate on the words wonder, enriched, and bread in the same way. (Warhol was only interested in one kind of “bread”: money!)

In 1967 she said, “I started early putting words into my prints, and the words just got bigger and bigger.” That year the Morris Gallery in New York hosted a show dedicated to her prints. By this time she was a “card-carrying” member of the peace movement; she was quoted as saying, “I’m not brave enough not to pay my income tax and risk going to jail, but I can say rather freely what I want to say in my art.”

After a lifetime of association with the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she resigned from the order in 1968, in part because of the unusual demands her sudden celebrity had brought. It’s fascinating to watch her work get progressively darker through the 1965-1970 period. I marvel at the sheer balls it would take to put together a red, white, and blue canvas with the words assassination and violence prominently represented and call it American Sampler—I just know I don’t have them!

For a good overview of her work, by all means do consult Come Alive! The Spirited Art of Sister Corita by Julie Ault. The Corita Art Center has a terrific collection of her images as well.
 

For Eleanor, 1964
 

Mary Does Laugh, 1964
 
Much more after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.06.2017
01:17 pm
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Unintentionally hilarious horror movie-themed anti-smoking PSA


 
This short anti-smoking PSA produced by Enniscorthy Youthreach in conjunction with the Irish Cancer Society has its heart in the right place even if the results are unintentionally hilarious.

The two-minute spot on the terrors of peer-pressure features homages to famous horror villains, including Jack Torrence (“I’ll huff and I’ll puff… MAINLY PUFF”), a Freddy Krueger with cigarette fingers instead of knives, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Ghostface, Chucky, Hannibal Lecter, and a Reagan McNeil who, in the best scene of the video, vomits a whole carton’s worth of cigs at the protagonist. 

In the end, we find that this was all the hospital-bed nightmare of someone ostensibly dying of lung cancer.

The storyline, acting, makeup, and special effects are all gloriously no-budget and awesomely terrible, making this, perhaps, the most entertaining anti-smoking PSA of all recorded time.

Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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08.25.2017
08:45 am
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The boys of Paris: The trailblazing transgender performers of Madame Arthur’s


The great cabaret performer, “Coccinelle.”
 
After yesterday’s utterly vile offerings from our Shithead-in-Grief, I was determined to pull together a post on a favorite topic of mine—shining a bright, warm light on notable and obscure transgender and drag performers. I’ve done several such posts on this very topic while on active duty here at Dangerous Minds, and so have my colleagues. It seems like every time we do, there is a positive reaction from our readers. To me, this is an affirmation that the hateful, racist rhetoric coming from our nation’s capital is not collectively who we are as human beings or else not many of our good-looking high IQ readers are Trump fans. I was fortunate to have been raised by two incredible people who embraced the LGBT community at a time when there wasn’t a lot of support for people who chose “non-traditional” relationships and gender roles. Thanks to them, I’ve simply never thought of someone who doesn’t look or swing like me as anything but another person. Unless of course, you are the type that is prone to behaving in a way that physically hurts or openly discriminates against another person. If you happen to be one of those flatulent assholes that shits bricks full of hate, then please, PLEASE feel free to leap off a goddamn cliff. Now, if you’ll once again forgive my affinity to digress from the topic at hand—let’s all take a much-needed look back at one of Paris’ most famous cabaret nightclubs, Madame Arthur’s.
 

An article on Madame Arthur’s from the men’s picture magazine SHE, 1957.
 
A magazine article published in 1957 by SHE (pictured above) referred to Madame Arthur’s as “The Sodom of the Seine.” This lascivious-sounding description is reflective of the article itself which laments “Les Boys” takeover of the Paris nightclub scene and the disappearance of the beloved “decorative” showgirl. Madame Arthur’s would open its doors in 1946. The club’s name comes from a song originally written back in 1850 by Michael Feingold, which was later translated to French by author Paul de Kock. The song was then popularized by French cabaret performer and actress, Yvette Guilbert. Here are some of the cheeky lyrics from the song:

Madame Arthur is quite the lady
They chatter and chatter about her all over Paris
She may be mature and slightly shady
But each man is her lover-to-be!

Oui, Oui! The club and its sister establishment Le Carrousel were playgrounds of sorts for famous transvestite performers such as Coccinelle who debuted her act at Madame Arthur’s in 1953. According to historians, an artist would be hired first by Madame Arthur’s and the cream of the crop would then be given the opportunity to take the stage at Le Carrousel. Occasionally exceptions were made for international acts that had credibility or notoriety worldly enough to bypass Madame Arthur’s, and allowing them to go straight to Le Carrousel. Incredible images of the Parisian trans trailblazers below. Some of the photos are NSFW.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.27.2017
12:20 pm
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Bad Bunny: True children’s stories of violent, drug-fueled family life presented as a kids’ book
07.07.2017
10:48 am
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Childhood is sometimes described by those privileged enough to know as the best years of our lives. This may be the case for the few but not always so for the many.

An American educational charity called Youth Ambassadors, which helps underprivileged kids reach their full potential, has come up with a rather simple idea to highlight the often grim reality of how some young people spend their childhoods. It’s a fake children’s book called Welcome to My Neighborhood.

It’s presented just like any other kids picture book with friendly, cuddly bunnies, cats, and mice telling the story of their lives. The big difference is this ain’t no Beatrix Potter or Wind in the Willows. This is a collection of disturbing true stories of domestic violence, drugs, crime, murder, and prison as recounted by disadvantaged children from some of America’s most deprived places. Not even the seemingly family-friendly illustrations can disguise the brutality of the children’s lives as drug-addict Daddy Rat beats his kids, the Bunny Brothers whack people, and Mister Fox is a gung-ho, trigger-happy cop.

Whether Welcome to My Neighborhood will actually make any real difference to the plight of these youngsters other than being something the chattering class will smile knowledgeably about over their quinoa salads and tofu chai latte, I ain’t so sure. But it’s certainly 10/10 for originality and effort. Download a PDF of this book here or, if you’re interested in doing some good, find out how to help Youth Ambassadors here.
 
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More sad tales, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.07.2017
10:48 am
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‘Do the Oz,’ John and Yoko’s benefit single (and hopeful dance craze) for OZ magazine


John and Yoko march for OZ, August 1971 (via Meet the Beatles for Real)
 
“I think that everyone should own everything equally and that the people should own part of the factories and they should have some say in who is boss and who does what,” John Lennon announced to Hit Parader during his militant period. When he and Yoko Ono joined a march in London in August ‘71, holding up the latest issue of the Marxist newspaper Red Mole, they were demonstrating in support of both the IRA and the underground magazine OZ, whose editors had just been sent up the river on an obscenity beef.

John and Yoko took up the cause of the “OZ Three.” For their now-famous “school kids issue,” number 28, OZ had solicited and printed contributions from teenage readers, and was alleged thereby to have struck a mighty blow against the morality of English youth. During the ensuing obscenity trial, the defense actually called an expert witness to testify that just seeing the cover illustration was not enough to turn a healthy young person into a lesbian.
 

Note the “OZ Obscenity Trial” souvenir T-shirt, featuring R. Crumb’s character Honeybunch Kaminski
 
In the end, the editors got fifteen months in prison, and the hip community rallied to their defense, Jon Wiener reports in Come Together: John Lennon in His Time:

The OZ defense committee announced it would appeal, and John and Yoko joined the fundraising effort. They wrote the songs “God Save Us” and “Do the Oz,” released as a single by Apple in July 1971. John played on both and sang lead on “Do the Oz,” calling the group “the Elastic Oz Band.” Full-age ads appeared in all the British underground and radical newspapers: “Every major country has a screw in its side, in England it’s OZ. OZ is on trial for its life. John and Yoko have written and helped produce this record—the proceeds of which are going to OZ to help pay their legal fees. The entire British underground is in trouble, it needs our help. Please listen—‘God Save Oz.’”

Bill Elliot (later of the Dark Horse band Splinter) sings the A-side of the Elastic Oz Band single, which Lennon originally called “God Save Oz” but retitled “God Save Us.” Both sound the same in a Liverpool accent, I think Lennon is telling Sounds here:

First of all we wrote it as God Save Oz, you know, ‘God save Oz from it all,’ but then we decided they wouldn’t really know what we were talking about in America so we changed it back to ‘us’.

But the B-side, “Do the Oz,” is the keeper. Mutilating the lick from “Smokestack Lightning” on guitar, John hollers the steps of his modified hokey pokey while Yoko sings the terrifying, beguiling hum of modernity. Backing them are the Plastic Ono Band and, on acoustic guitars, two contributors to the “school kids issue,” future NME contributor Charles Shaar Murray and “Michelle.”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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05.18.2017
07:50 am
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‘Punch Nazis’ in Arabic T-shirt is the latest in alt-right resistance


 
It’s now come to this. It’s currently necessary in the United States for citizens of good conscience and opinion to signal their public opposition to white supremacy and other Nazi-esque ideas. As was widely reported yesterday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer inexplicably chose Passover to trot out a “Hitler wasn’t so bad” justification for the Trump administration’s recent air strike on a Syrian air base that, regrettably, was not solely justified by a desire to puff up a big, bad foreign despot, was it now?

After all, the Trump administration was scarcely a week old when it released a statement addressing Holocaust Remembrance Day that neglected to reference Jewish suffering in any way. Far from a “gaffe,” Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks told CNN that the wording was quite intentional, because “we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.” Yeah, right.

All of which just goes to establish that cold-hearted indifference is an easy posture to adopt if you don’t personally care about the people involved. Trump adviser Steve Bannon openly trumpets a race-based theory of some supposed decline of America, and the fact that he may be (please God) on the way out doesn’t mean that we all shouldn’t give him a forceful kick in the nuts as he (please God) exits the stage.

On the day that Trump became president, American Nazi Richard Spencer was standing on a street corner explaining the significance of his Pepe pin to an Australian news crew (seriously) when “a group of masked protesters” abruptly interrupted Spencer’s remarks by punching him in the face. That started a round of gleeful celebration by Trump haters as well as a wan debate about whether it’s morally OK (I almost said “kosher”) to punch Nazis. (It is.)

Artist Molly Crabapple has concocted a nifty T-shirt that is the ideal fashion statement for our fucked-up times—it’s a T-shirt with the words “Punch Nazis” on it, but the language chosen is the one most likely to strike fear in the hearts of white America—Arabic.

The T-shirt exists in unisex and women’s versions and comes in two colors, red and white. (The unisex version actually comes in “Heather Grey” and “Independence Red,” but whatevs.) No matter which one you get, the price is the same, 25 bucks, which is a small price to pay to symbolically punch Richard Spencer in the face. 

Plus, proceeds go to City Plaza, “a squatted, self-managed hotel in Athens which provides dignified housing for refugees.”
 

 

 
via Exile on Moan Street
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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04.12.2017
10:46 am
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Meaty, Beaty, Big and Beardy: Behold the hairy glory of the 2018 ‘Whimsical Woodsman’ calendar


Tim Wilson, a full-time Arizona wildlands firefighter and part-time model with his trusty chainsaw. All photo credits to Chronicker Photography.
 
2018 will mark the third year that The Whimsical Woodsman and Friends have published a calendar featuring photos of rugged pin-up dudes such as “The Majestic Mountain Man” and kilt-lifting bad-boy “The Wistful Warrior” cavorting in the woods and such.

While it would be relatively easy to dismiss this awesomeness as a purely money-making gimmick at the expense of body shaming the burly calendar boys, I’m not going to do that for many reasons including the fact that body shaming is reserved for low-lives and Internet trolls. Also, when you purchase one of the calendars a portion of the proceeds from the sale goes to support the Arizona charity Books to the Rescue, a cause close to the hearts of the calendar’s creators Chad Castigliano and his wife Jasmine. The organization provides services to children in crisis by helping to provide comfort items to first responders such as cuddly stuffed animals and of course books. If that’s not do-goody enough for you, the calendar also works pretty hard to promote body acceptance—something we all benefit from.

I’ve posted images of some of the manly men that will be a part of the 2018 wall-candy calendar below. If you’d like to pick on up for yourself or a friend, more information on that can be found here.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.05.2017
10:47 am
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She’s the other funky drummer (and every woman, too): Chaka Khan in the 1970s
03.29.2017
02:01 pm
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A young, fierce-looking Chaka Khan behind the drum kit for Rufus back in the early 1970s.
 
Unless a significant generation gap presented itself, I would find it hard to trust someone who was not familiar with the “Queen of Funk” Chaka Khan. Likewise, I’d probably have trouble hanging out with someone that actually didn’t at least enjoy grooving to a few songs from Chaka’s vast body of work. I mean, saying you don’t dig Chaka Khan is pretty much the same thing as hating on Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner or Donna Summer. And you don’t want to be that guy, do you, dummy?

Born Yvette Marie Stevens, Chaka came into the world in 1953, a few years before the Chicago music scene exploded once again in the 60s and 70s. Meaning that she was old enough to properly bear witness to the baffling number of musical acts making things happen then. I’m talking the Staple Singers, the Chi-lites, Minnie Ripperton and Earth, Wind & Fire. And this is just a small sampling of the kind of musical genius that surrounded the soon-to-be-funky-as-hell singer during her most formative years. At the age of eleven, Khan (who was still going by her birth name Yvette Stevens) was already performing with her first band, the Crystalettes along with her sister Yvonne. As she entered her teen years Chaka was exposed to the messages and activism of the Black Panther Party and at the age of fourteen, she became a part of the radical political organization. It would be during her time with the Panthers that she would acquire her new name Chaka Adunne Aduffe Yemoja Hodarhi Karifi. She became deeply involved in working with underprivileged youth in Chicago. Chaka soon dropped out of school and embarked on what would be a long musical career that continues to this day.
 

The “curve-some” Chaka Khan in action with Rufus back in the 1970s.
 
When she was discovered by members of Chicago band Rufus singing in a local club in 1972, Chaka was nineteen and already divorced from her first husband Hassan Khan whose last name she decided to keep. The timing was perfect as Rufus would sign on with ABC Records in 1973 with the enchanting powerhouse that is Chaka Khan at the helm. Her partnership with Rufus would prove to be hugely successful and the band would produce six gold and platinum records over the course of four short years. And that was just a start for Chaka as her solo career would arguably eclipse her time with Rufus starting with a song that propelled her debut record into the funky stratosphere (and one that everybody knows at least seven words to), “I’m Every Woman.” Here’s the thing, I’m only really able to scratch the surface of Khan’s compelling and complicated life here today, so I’ll leave you with my final thoughts as to why we should all have the love for Chaka Khan.

In 1984 Khan got the idea to cover a song from Prince’s self-titled 1979 album called “I Feel For You.” Highly influential producer Arif Mardin was able to secure the services of both Stevie Wonder to play the harmonica on the single, and hip-hop god Grandmaster Melle Mel to provide opposing vocals to Chaka’s. While Prince never released the song as single, it was a goddamn smash for Khan and the album as a whole has stood the test of time. By the way, as mentioned in the title of this post, Khan has always been a pretty great drummer, so I posted a short vintage video of Chaka behind her kit below. I’ve also included a number of images of Chaka Khan in action, as well as videos of Khan working her magic with Rufus live back in the day. Bow to the Queen of Funk, baby.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.29.2017
02:01 pm
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‘Circus’ by Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan. Illustrated by Joe Coleman. Narrated by Ken Nordine
02.28.2017
03:16 pm
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Cover illustration by Daniel Nayari

Stories for Ways and Means is a new book that features original “grown up” children’s story collaborations by some of this era’s most compelling storytellers from the worlds of music and contemporary art. It’s being published by the long-running indie record label Waxploitation run by entrepreneur and photojournalist Jeff Antebi. The Stories for Ways and Means project lends support to several non-governmental organizations and nonprofit groups aiding children’s literacy causes around the world including Room to Read, Pencils of Promise, 826 National and many more.

Some of the featured musicians contributing to the project include Frank Black, Laura Marling, Del the Funky Homosapien, Gibby Haynes, Alec Empire, Kathleen Hanna, Devendra Banhart, Nick Cave, Alison Mosshart, Satomi Matsuzaki of Deerhoof, Will Oldham, Gary Numan and ska great guitarist Ernest Ranglin.

You can order the Stories for Ways and Means book at SFWAM.org

The animated video below, “Circus” is based on a short story by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. It was illustrated by painter Joe Coleman and narrated by the voiceover legend Ken Nordine. It’s really neat.
 

 
Thank you kindly (and happy belated birthday) Sean Fernald of Hollywood, California!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.28.2017
03:16 pm
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