Subway, dancer in the dark


Iran today does not promote any form of western culture and must comply with strict Islamic religious dictums: it is forbidden to drink alcohol, it is forbidden to have sex before marriage, it is forbidden to dance in public… and for women these rules and restrictions multiply. Although it has not always been possible to change laws, it is often possible to find ways to keep alive the desire for change even from miles away, between countries and people that are apparently very different. Subway was created for this purpose. A collaborative project that uses digital media and mobile devices creatively, Subway has started a dialogue at a distance that has allowed many Iranians to make small gestures of resistance towards the repressive culture to which they are exposed. The Iranian Ansari, now resident in to New York, has produced a short video dancing freely in the subway station. In collaboration with Georgia Tech University, researcher Andrew Quitmeyer and the Digital World and Image Group then developed an application for Android, thanks to which the video in question was divided into frames and circulated in Iran, where people freely replicated the poses of individual frames as photographs. Dance, then, without really dancing. The frames, reassembled in their correct order, have revived the initial choreography, with dozens of Iranians dancers. Benedetta Sabatini


Subway Documentation and Dance