An article on the New York Review of Books blog by Haleh Esfandiari about the Interrupted Lives exhibit at Georgetown University Law School
In late September, as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in New York asserting his government’s respect for human rights, several young students in Iran were receiving lengthy prison sentences for their efforts to speak out in defense of those rights. Indeed—as a small photography exhibition about student repression in Iran at Georgetown Law School this month powerfully reminded us—hundreds of Iranian students, journalists, and bloggers have been jailed, many of them in deplorable conditions, since the disputed elections of June 2009. And though the matter has received little attention in the press, many more continue to be arrested and sentenced.
I was struck by the setting of the exhibition. In Georgetown’s McDonough Hall, where it was held, law students hurry to and from classes. They walk past or stop to look at the photographs—photographs of men and women, also students, the same age as themselves. But these men and women are Iranian. The Georgetown students are free to come and go, to speak their minds, to argue with their professors; the Iranians in these photos have experienced life differently.