31 October 2009 Thoughts on Hoder for Suddeutsche Zeitung
Marcos Sanchez & Niklas Hofmann from Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung contacted me regarding an article they are writing on Hossein Derakhshan for Monday’s edition. As I don’t expect I’ll be available for a phone or Skype interview tonight or tomorrow: I sent them the following:
My feeling is that Hossein made a tremendous mistake in returning to Iran. Exile is a terrible state in which the afflicted is never again home or whole. My father was exiled from Chile under Pinochet, and after over two decades in the United States, where he has never been accepted as “American”, he returns from Chile periodically to face the stigma of being somehow “less Chilean” than he was before he left.
That said, I still believe that Hossein’s return to Iran was a terrible mistake, as “Editor: Myself” is no longer edited at all, and the Iranian Blogging Revolution he helped catalyze has this year created many questions about the future of digital activism. Thus, foreign scholars, skeptics, and observers give questions answers that Hossein’s perspective, as a the seminal digital Iranian, might have proven to be the most relevant.
As I said, I never met Hossein, and a man’s blog is not necessarily his heart, journey, & soul…but I fail to see the benefit to anyone of his voice being silenced while his countrymen & women continue to assert theirs into a perilously unmapped digital future.