Twitter and the new era

I know this blog is a space that normally discusses our film but over the last seven days I have been completely consumed by the events in Iran and today I felt compelled not to be limited to 140 characters…while I understand as those on twitter retweeted thousands of times, “140 characters is a novel when your being shot at” I am lucky to not have bullets, passing, grazing or hitting me…so today I wanted more that 140 character to explain my feelings about the events of the past seven days.

To be quite honest I was not aware that an election was happening in Iran, I was too busy with ENTRE NOS, too busy traveling and too busy writing my next film to follow the elections of Iran. I woke up seven days ago and while I laid in bed I checked my facebook page from my iPhone (as I do almost every morning) and read an update that said, “I feel the way I did on Nov 2 2004..heartbroken, depressed and shocked..” I was curious and wondered what might have happened in the world that made this person feel this way.

By now I have been informed of world events via twitter or facebook many times, Tim Russert’s death, the plane going down off of Brazil..that when I read the update I knew something had to have happened in the world. Soon enough I began to understand the magnitude of the situation in Iran. After hours and hours of research I soon realized the most reliable information was what was being said on twitter. I did some work and was soon able to secure my “sources” on twitter. The information I was gathering was mind boggling and I passed on what I knew to my people via my updates on twitter and facebook. I couldn’t stop reading the updates on twitter…when they asked me to change my location to Terhan so the Iranian government would be confused I did so, when they asked me to hack government websites I passed on the request to people that could do it…when they asked me not to retweet their names because they were in danger I started to reweet “ from Iran”. I did what I could do while being on the other side of the world, with a computer and access to information.

My boyfriend asked me why was I so obsessed with what was happening, I had never shown any interest in the political situation in Iran…not more than the basic understanding of the history and the current situation…so why now?

It is hard to put into words why I’m being kept up at night, why I’m dreaming about the people that I know by there user names…why I get a knot in my stomach if I don’t see updates from these people for a long period of time..but now after watching the most horrific video of a young woman dying on the streets of Terhan, after watching the blood gurgle up from her mouth and covering her entire face, after looking into her eyes seconds before she took her last breath…after absorbing the fact that I just witnessed a young woman die before my eyes.. I can say that I have been engaged because all I can do is bare witness for my brothers and sisters. I am not Persian, I am not Muslim but I feel connected to these people, I feel they are fighting their own battle but they are also fighting mine. Mine because I and we are now connected with the world in a way we never were before, boundaries do not exist and everything has the power to be personal. No longer can we deny that what we do on one side of the world doesn’t affect someone else when we can speak with those that are being affected.

It’s amazing to me how twitter is responsible for this new era we are entering. I never would have thought twitter would have the power to effect change but it does and it has. We are now a part of this moment of change because we have become the messengers of the truth.

I want peace for Iran but I also understand that there comes a time when the people will demand peace by any means necessary and it seems that time has come in Iran.


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