Iran's presidential election is scheduled for June 14. In light of this event, Deutsche Welle presents the country from various angles in its multimedia project "Beyond the veil: Elections in Iran."
Negative images of Iran are common. The country is often associated with the mullah regime, the nuclear program and sanctions. But how does real life look in this Persian Gulf nation of nearly 80 million people? Government censorship and widespread restrictions on information and press freedom hinder the flow of credible, objective information out of the country.
How do people live in a country where the government takes drastic measures to counter any form of criticism? In a country whose economy is in bad shape, not only due to Western sanctions? In a country where religion and politics are tightly interwoven, forming a system with little transparency? How has everyday life changed for Iranians in the four years since the presidential election and the Green Revolution of 2009?
These topics are explored in the multimedia project "Beyond the veil: Elections in Iran." In this project, DW journalists present current developments relating to the presidential election on June 14, shedding a light on the nuclear policy debate, the human rights situation, the economic crisis, censorship and surveillance by state authorities.
"The project reflects Deutsche Welle's competence in dealing with regional topics," commented DW Editor-in-Chief Ute Schaeffer. "We have been reporting in Farsi for over 50 years now. This is why the editorial team has excellent connections to Iran and the Iranian community." Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate and long-time DW supporter Shirin Ebadi is an example of such connections. Ebadi contributed to one of the project's editorials.
One of the project's special features is the main-page graphic, which is in the so-called graphic novel style. It helps attract the attention of the region's largely younger target groups. "This style is especially popular in the Near and Middle East, found in print and cinema films such as 'Persepolis' and 'Waltz with Bashir,'" explained Alexander Freund, head of DW's Asia Department. The graphic that appears on the DW project page was created by renowned cartoonist Khalil, whose 2009 comic "Zahra's Paradise" has been translated into 16 languages.