The Nobel Peace Prize is a coveted award that recognizes extraordinary individuals or groups for their efforts to promote peace, democracy, and human rights around the world. This year, Dmitry Muratov of the Moscow opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta was awarded this honor for his efforts to bring attention to the eroding love for democracy and increasing prevalence of dictatorship across the globe. While Belarus and Russia have become classic cases of dictatorships in recent years, Iran has also seen its democratic institutions deteriorate rapidly.
In 2021, Tracks East released an acclaimed documentary that follows a group of Iranian student activists who have been fighting against oppressive conditions in Iran since 2018. Through interviews with these brave students and insight into their daily struggles, viewers gain an understanding of how dictatorships can quickly emerge when citizens’ voices are silenced by oppressive forces. As one young activist explains: “It is only by having our basic rights respected that we can protect our freedom and our hopes for democracy.”
This documentary provides crucial insight into what it means to live under a dictatorial regime, from the police brutality experienced on a daily basis to the harsh online surveillance tactics utilized by authorities. It also highlights how oppressive regimes often target those looking to bring about change – something which is particularly relevant in light of recent events in Belarus and Russia.
Tracks East’s powerful documentary encourages us all to stand up for our beliefs and fight for our right to live in a free society without fear of oppression. By raising awareness about current events occurring in Iran – as well as those taking place elsewhere across the world – it serves as an urgent call-to-action for anyone wishing to challenge authoritarianism and stand up for justice. We must remember that true democracy is achieved only when each voice is heard and respected; if we fail to take action now, then future generations will pay the consequences of our inaction.