Abstract

This text introduces the translation of Amir Esbati's essay “The Student Movement [Revolt] of May 1968 and the Fine Art Students,” first published in Labour and Art in Tehran in 1980. In the midst of the Iranian Revolution political and aesthetic upheaval, Amir Esbati, a member of the Marxist Group 57 student organisation, observed the following in the local revue Labour and Art in December 1978: “The walls of the city have become like the pages of a popular history book, so specific that we can tell the date and time of each sign or inscription.” This introduction looks at the most powerful manifestation of street politics shaping visual culture in modern Iran and at the way in which political posters operated, were reproduced, and became the objects of commentary and speculation.

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