Persian Speak Out

This poster can be found at  and was created by the online graphic design company SocialDesignZine in August 2009 for the Green Iran surrounding the violent protests in that country around the same time period.  The poster supports a political agenda that many Iranians believe won the elections that year, but also comments on and challenges the current political regime that violently put down protests that questioned the authenticity of the elections.  The first thing that strikes me about this other than the contrast that brings out the green of the tongue by placing it over a very drab background is just how bizarre and striking the image is as it seems unnatural enough to make the viewer take a closer look at how the effect is created within the design.  I don’t think that the add necessarily creates associations with what it is talking about, but rather relies on the starkness and peculiarity to interest the viewer into further researching what the meaning behind image are.

My first interpretation is that the green tongue looked like a budding leaf, but once I realized it was a tongue extended to that degree, there was a slight sexual connotation without being overt though still palpable by the texture of the tongue that further highlights the green through contrasting points of different shades of color that allows the image to pop.  The darker complex of the face is almost perfectly camouflaged with a similar toned wall on the other side to further contrast the color of the tongue while keeping that composition of the picture in balance. The tongue is turned upside down to achieve a budding effect while also making the anatomy of the woman initially confusing at the lack of the rest of her face other than a mouth.  Not only is Green Iran referring to their environmental policy, though they are very green, it speaks to the inclusivity of Eastern thought that incorporates demilitarizing the government with this policies, while in the poster using the mouth as a duel purpose to represent a quality and to emphasize the importance of voice and spreading the message of what happened to many Iranian protestors.  The extension of the tongue as a leaf also denotes movement in growth but the still emptiness that surrounds it feels repressive.

The statement that is made by poster is how humanity transcends confines and that like the policies that are part of that platform; they will find a way to flourish because they are an inherent part of Iranian, if not all human culture so long as we do not corrupt ourselves.  Unlike many of the posters done for this movement of fingers being cut off and other atrocities, this acknowledges the violence while portraying the oppressed as strong and vibrant enough to endure what is ahead of them.  To me the poster works because though it doesn’t immediately communicate the idea, it does have much deeper meaning and symbolism while still maintaining its visual poignancy.  I think that the wording might have been more directed, but by not directly addressing the killings, the message has more of a timeless quality that is still meaningful years after where many of the other prints from this time are not.

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