The Evolution of Ideology and Politics in Iran from the Early Days of the Islamic Republic. Notes for a Topography of Muralism in Tehran


  • Raffaele Mauriello Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


In the late 1970s and with the advent of the Islamic Revolution (1977-79), muralism became a key feature of Iran’s landscape. Since the revolution and later the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), the walls of the streets of major cities became the locus of ideological struggles and political propaganda. With shifts in political tides, the Iranian state’s propaganda art underwent various mutations. The location of the murals within the city landscape through topography represents a critical element of their message. No other city as Iran’s capital, Tehran, has been the theatre and witness to the political and ideological developments of the country. Within Tehran, District 6 is of paradigmatic value. It is situated at the city’s geographical centre, hosting important buildings and institutions, and it has been the theatre of important events in the country’s contemporary history. Therefore, localising its murals is critical to revealing their message and the country’s ideological landscape and faultlines. The work is based on an archive developed by the Author on the field and a survey conducted in 2011 by the Organisation for the Beautification of the City of Tehran. The topographic localisation of the murals was developed using Google My Maps.


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