Iran: 20-year-old musician’s reality check: oppression persists

15 December 2014
Tooka Zokaie and members of Barobax

“Rights for musicians are extremely weak in Iran”, wrote Tooka Zokaie, a 20-year-old Iranian-American piano teacher and speech coach who travelled to Iran and unintentionally broke the law:

“When I went to Iran this summer, almost everything I participated in related to music was illegal. I played piano to male audiences, participated in underground concerts and danced without my headscarf to Persian pop music.”

Read Tooka Zokaie’s story:

» Womens E-news – 12 December 2014:
I Made Music in Iran, Defying Laws

“It was personally disheartening to see fellow female music teachers who could not perform for audiences because of their fear to be caught. What are the rights exactly for female musicians in Iran then? Here goes:
• Women cannot play pop music with men in ensembles.
• Women cannot perform for audiences containing men.
• Women cannot book their own venue.
It is not only female musicians who are oppressed. Men cannot perform either if their lyrics are too enticing or can promote ‘scandalous behavior’.”

Home / News / Iran: 20-year-old musician’s reality check: oppression persists