Despite some drastic changes since the early years of the Islamic Revolution, the state is still reluctant to give more freedom to musicians to express themselves. Women, in particular, face severe restrictions when it comes to producing and disseminating music. Although women can play instruments on stage, they are not allowed to sing solo in public. As a result, solo women singers primarily produce music overseas.
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Although some other art forms such as cinema have found a way to survive and thrive since the Islamic Revolution, Iranian literature has been more exposed to the socio-political dynamics of the country. And while the passion for classical literature and the love of poetry have not changed, modern Iranian literature is facing yet another difficult phase.
Since the signing of the deal, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have arrested at least 30 dual nationals, mostly on spying charges. In the years before the deal, the number of dual nationals imprisoned at any given time was usually in single figures. However, in February 2018, at least 19 out of the 30 detainees had European citizenship.
Although the moderates and reformists are more open to change within a controlled environment, the hardliners see the disappearance of hijab as symbolic of the loss of their own power. Hence, hijab has become both a cultural war between the state and its citizens and a power play at the very heart of the political establishment. Indeed, by removing her headscarf in public, the ‘Girl from Revolution Street’ has not only become the latest symbol of this ongoing cultural war but has also underscored the increasing friction within Iranian factional politics.