Monday, May 11, 2015

Captive Audiences Are Good Targets

What’s a government to do? Let’s say your economy is in the crapper, your bank interest rates are around 22% and your air is so polluted that people spend most of their time on the road rubbing their eyes and stuck in traffic.

You takeover all of the City’s (Tehran, Iran) 1,500 billboards and whatever was on them – like advertisements for western products that most people cannot afford and replace them with art work.

Iraq has a long and proud culture so it’s no surprise that the splattering of art work all over the city has had it’s intended positive effects even though, according to “The Arts Get a Parton, and 1,500 Billboards” in the May 7, 2015 edition of the NY Times (see:, which is also the photo source) “more than 30% are foreign including works by John Singer Sargent”

While it’s fair to say that not every citizen of Tehran is an art critic or has even visited a museum, it’s clear that the classic visual imagery is taking their minds off most government challenges for the moment. But not everyone has forgotten and as Manijeh Makbari put it “but the city shouldn’t forget the sidewalks need to be cleaned as well.”

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