25 February 2010
A witness seminar that focuses on the BBC’s coverage of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 will be held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on 6 March 2010. The event, hosted by the School’s Centre for Media and Film Studies, will bring together key individuals who were active in that period to tell their stories and debate the implications of the Revolution.
Speakers and participants will discuss a number of critical issues including the role of the BBC Persian Service in the Iranian revolution of 1979 and whether the British Foreign Office tried to intervene in the content of the daily broadcasts to Iran. Participants will explore whether the radio service was a contributory force in the popular mobilisation and how the situation then compares with that of today, given the launch of BBC Persian Television and digital technologies. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Speakers will include Andrew Whitley and Lotfali Khonji and recorded interviews with Lord David Owen and Fred Halliday will be broadcast. The witness accounts, which will be recorded live, will add to the understanding of this crucial period in the contemporary history of Iran and the role of the BBC World Service within the strategies of British public diplomacy.
This seminar forms part of an on-going project on ‘diasporic nationalism’, part of the ‘Tuning In’ research on the BBC World Service, which is funded through the AHRC Diasporas research programme.
More information on the Centre for Media and Film Studies at SOAS can be found on: www.soas.ac.uk/mediaandfilm/