Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Seattle Tehran Poster Show

A year ago, my friend Dan Smith put on a show at Bumbershoot called the Seattle Havana poster show as a way to explore the artistic similarities between the two cities (countries) whose governments have been at odds for decades. This year, he upped the ante and is putting on The Seattle Tehran Poster Show. To do so, he traveled to Iran last December at a time and in an age when just about everyone (including himself) thought maybe he should have his head examined.

Our government has created an 'axis of evil' to keep us a little off balance and in support of a war that most of us no longer (if ever) supported. For many Americans, Iran, Iraq, North Korean are no longer countries with people trying to get by day to day, but entities actively trying to destroy democracy and our way of life. Not to speak for Dan, but I think one of the reasons he is putting on this show is to remind us that Iranians are just people. Perhaps they have a different religion than many of us. Perhaps they deal with different day to day challenges than we do. Perhaps they don't even believe in 'democracy' (do we really have one?) I will not speak to the government of Iran, but it's people are no part of the 'axis of evil', they are as interested and excited to learn about us and explore our country, as hopefully, most of us are to learn about them.

I know when Dan was in Iran there were some challenges with getting out and meeting everyday people. But in the end he went to 'swap meets', met with designers, and made some new friends, just as he would traveling to any country. I applaud his willingness to take the challenge of both going to Iran and the huge effort it has taken him to create this poster show. I recommend everyone go on down to Bumbershoot and see what it's all about. And check out www.seattletehran.com.

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