Iranian Diaspora Collective: The Organisation Amplifying Iranians’ Stories
“Be our voice.” These three words have been a resounding demand from Iranians, hoping that people around the world will bear witness to their fight for freedom and, more importantly, will use their voices to strengthen Iranians’ demands for accountability and justice.
The tragic death of Mahsa Zhina Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, in the custody of the morality police has spurred one of the biggest civil rights movements in the country’s recent history, with Iranian women leading the charge. Protests have been taking place across Iran for 20 weeks and, at this point, this movement is no longer a series of demonstrations, it is a revolution. As Iranians began – and continue – to risk and lose their lives for freedom, a small group of first and second-generation Iranians in the diaspora came together to devise strategies to support them and raise awareness across the world. They looked at how they could share and amplify the stories and experiences of their loved ones in Iran without jeopardising their safety. This small group slowly grew and coalesced into the Iranian Diaspora Collective: a non-partisan, multi-faith group with members from all different backgrounds, genders, sexualities, identities, and industries.
Most members have kept their identities anonymous to avoid any potential retaliation for their loved ones in Iran. However, the work of the IDC is becoming increasingly visible: alongside working closely with the press to keep people in Iran at the forefront of hearts and minds, through a GoFundMe campaign, the collective raised funds for large ad placements across Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, DC, with billboards, wild postings and digital ads that reached over 20 million people.
The goal of the ads was two-fold: to heighten visibility on the situation in Iran, and to boost Iranians’ morale. The IDC collaborated with anonymous artists in Iran on the artwork and made the ads bilingual, with the knowledge that their audience was not only people in the US but also those on the ground in Iran.
What’s next for the collective, which is not associated with any other political or lobbying group, has not been revealed, however, perhaps the common goal of the diasporic unity ‘to support Iranians’ right to a free and equitable Iran’ is everything we need to know.
For updates from the IDC, follow them on Instagram