The ultimate blog meetup
: Hoder sends word of a Weblog Festival in Tehran, Iran on June 8-10 (damn, don’t you wish you could be there?). Here’s a photo from the last big gathering of bloggers there at Hoder’s photoblog. Iit was Hoder’s photos from that session — just folks, just eating lunch — that first impressed upon me how blogs and the Internet can connect folks across any boundaries; this, too, is why I’m so glad to see photos showing up on Iraqi blogs. Here’s Hoder’s blog post on the event. And the official Weblog Festival site: “Our goal is to improve the quality of such Persian media and to improve their quantity as well.” (That sounds just like the mission of the Citizens’ Media Center I’ve been hoping to put together here.)
It’s being put together by Persian Blog and the National Youth Organization of Iran — which, mind you, is a government organization. Think about that: This is a nation that has arrested bloggers and still cuts off Internet access and yet a government organization is sponsoring a blog event and bloggers — who write at some risk — will come. A land of ironies.
: MORE: Hoder forwards a link to a story that by Dan de Luce, the Guardian journalist recently expelled from Iran, that explains well just how ironic a land Iran is:
Iran is a country where repression is arbitrary, not systematic as in many other states in the Middle East, and it is not as efficient either. Some laws are never enforced, some murders are never solved and some critics of the regime are left alone while others are locked up. Iranians never know where the boundary is, allowing the “system” plenty of room to manoeuvre as it pleases.
Arbitrariness makes life unpredictable and allows for a degree of debate and political ferment. But sometimes it is merely cruel.