The Small Media Foundation has published the report, Cultural Censorship in Iran: Iranian Culture in a State of Emergency. This report looks at government pressure on and censorship of publishing, music, theater, and film, demonstrating an increase since the disputed 2009 presidential elections.
The findings of the authors, Mostafa Khalaji, Bronwen Robertson, and Maryam Aghdami, show the efforts of the regime to make the barriers towards public culture even higher by pulling previously approved books off the shelves, controlling funding and licenses for films, denying musicians and theater groups access to their audience, and other acts of suppression.
The publishing industry has been especially hard hit. The independent writer’s organization, The Forum of Iranian Writers, is being supplanted by the deceptively named, Pen Association of Iran, a government-sponsored organization. The regime financially supports like-minded authors and publishers and purchases mass quantities of their books. In that way they can claim that the number of books published remains high. Bookstores are being shut down at an alarming rate.