Green Movement| The Green Screen: Neda and the Lost Voices
The history of contemporary Iran has been characterized by the presence of recurring features, including, among others, a conflictual dialectic between the ruling elite and a variety of dissident movements, and an intensive use of the available mass media in the ideological struggle against the different regimes. This article aims to analyze the role of the new media, with particular regard to Web 2.0 social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Its functions in the genesis of the so-called “Green Movement” related to the contested June 2009 Iranian presidential elections, and in the creation of iconic “martyrs” of the movement itself, like Neda Agha Soltan, wordless “voice” of the protests, are examined. The article reframes these specific events in the broader context of the history of political dissent in Iran. The international impact of the June 2009 protests is also considered, with special reference to the support expressed for the Green Movement by Western journalists, artists, and intellectuals.