How do Iranians, exiled Iranians or people with Iranian roots living in the West observe the protests in Iran? We are collecting voices with a questionnaire. This time: Iranian-American film maker Reza Bird.
The protests in Iran have been going on for weeks. With what feelings or thoughts are you currently observing them?
At this point in our lives, we are at a very defining moment. Iran will never be able to return to what it was. Almost everyone knows this inside Iran. Even the government.
Do you have direct contact with the population in Iran? If yes: What do you hear or read there?
We created a web series called "Diaries of a Revolution" that tells the true stories of real protesters (read more). As soon as we released them, they became a hit. This resulted in a community of protesters forming around our social media platforms. It helped me stay up-to-date on what's happening in Iran. Most of them are young people who are very positive about change. They know that it's not going to happen overnight, and they know it's going to be a long battle. However, they are very dedicated and truly believe in what they do.
How do you assess the current situation? In which phase are the protests?
Protests and strikes in Iran are layered in so many ways. Governments cannot control and block it due to its diversity and spread.
Unlike many other major protests and revolutions, this one stems from the uprising of women. What makes the feminist revolution so special?
lthough women are leading a very significant part of this revolution, I do not call it a feminist revolution. This is the first time that protesters of different backgrounds and genders have united in Iran. Women's bravery surprises men. Older generations are surprised by the creativity of young students. The capital of Iran is amazed at the consistent actions of protesters in Kurdistan and Balochistan. This is the beauty of this revolution. As a nation, we are finally coming together.
In this country - in Germany as well as other Western countries - the issue is overshadowed in the media by other topics such as the war in Ukraine. What needs to happen to change this?
Western media were very conservative in the first two months of this revolution. It took them a long time to even call this a revolution. However, it's getting better now. Activists and powerful individuals in the government and what they are doing for Iran have also encouraged the media, in my opinion.
What is your forecast: In which direction will Iran or the uprising develop in the coming months?
Despite the fact that no one can predict how and when this regime will fall, Iran is undergoing major changes. Iranians are experiencing a lot of social changes after these three months. Our society is witnessing what was unthinkable and unachievable even a few months ago. I believe more people from traditional backgrounds will join the protesters. Governments will also have to deal with raging inflation, which causes strikes all over Iran.
Reza Bird is an Iranian-American film maker, director, editor, and producer with more than 15 years of experience in Iran, Turkey, Paris, and Los Angeles.