Caught between an oppressive totalitarian government and the opportunistic neocolonial dreams of the west, every step towards freedom for Iranians – on both micro and macro levels –poses new challenges, requiring new strategies and strengths. Yet we must not mistakenly think that people of Iran have surrendered by accepting their reality, or that they exhibit defiance only in those spectacular and grand moments of collective resistance, such as the well known 1979 revolution or the 2009 Green Movement. Resistance permeates every aspect of everyday life in Iran, surfacing within conversations, gestures and jokes, as well as cultural activities such as music, cinema and visual arts -- often emerging out of the least likely places and from those who are often ignored.
Drawing on my field research in Iran in the spring of 2019, this thesis explores resistance through James C. Scott’s theorization of what he calls everyday forms of resistance; practiced not only by activists, intellectuals, and the educated upper class, but also the forms of resistance which grow from the ground up. Within this text, I will analyze the interactions and stories I have collected during my field work, while also exploring the techniques I employed to conduct this research, including Augusto Boal’s Invisible Theatre and Pauline Oliverous’ Deep Listening, to reflect on what it means to employ listening not only as a research method but also as a medium of art and activism. Furthermore, I will explore the concept of doroyoee (two faced ness/hypocrisy) and the ways this notion manifests in both the public and private sphere, in Iran. By expanding on these notions, I will shed light on the current-day context in Iran, through and despite which these everyday forms of resistance come to exist.