In Iran the Islamic government restricts women from performing their music alone on stage. For one musician, Farzane Zamen, this drove her out of her home country and eventually forced her to seek asylum in Scotland.
Today she is a working musician in that foreign place. Time will only tell if she will be safe to travel back to Iran but until then she will continue to make her music.
When in 2018 Egyptian musician Ramy Essam published the music video to his single “Balaha”, Egyptian authorities arrested the poet behind the lyrics, the music video director and Essam’s former social media manager.
Essam is well known for his participation in the protests of 2011 after writing the song “Irhal” which became an anthem for the revolution. During the protests he was arrested and tortured by Egyptian authorities.
Currently his creative collaborators remain in prison and Essam himself in exile in Sweden. Essam launched the Balaha Case campaign in order to raise awareness and fight for the release of his friends and collaborators.