""Iranian Living Room" is a new photojournalism project we’ve produced and self-published. Enrico Bossan, our brilliant head of photography, sought out 15 young Iranian photographers to take pictures of "interior life" in Iran (mainly Tehran.) We wanted to coincide with the Iranian election as we knew much of the associated imagery would be CNN and BBC cameras on the streets. But we also knew that the real discussions amongst Iranians would take place in private, off the streets, in the relative freedom of the "living room", away from the prying eyes of the world’s media, and the state.
I was told that [PayPal’s] shopping cart code was blocking the order because the book had the word “Iranian” in the title. And that word is on a “blacklist” (their word, not mine) as PayPal is based in the USA. And that was that. Our PayPal account manager on the phone in Dublin—who was vaguely helpful and evasive in equal measure—said that he could tell by my accent that I was American and I would understand the issue."
City Of Sound / PayPal and the word “Iranian”
Sort of a Transparency For The Masses moment, sort of something more Foucauldian (kerCHING £1 in the Social Theorists Box). Blunt-instrument filters refusing to allow a legitimate - even socially valuable - transaction. Really bad news, and exactly the kind of thing we’ll see more of if we don’t object - the vanishing of unapproved groups and perspectives, the hollowing out of our empathy and the empowerment of filterbubble politics.
(Buy the book. I’m going to.)