As Macklemore & Rylan Lewis made a statement with the song “Same Love”, Iranian pop star Googoosh is making a similar statement by releasing a song video that addresses gay love. As The Associated Press reports on March 4, Googoosh is causing a stir with the song because of the taboo and criminal nature of homosexuality in the Islamic republic.
The criminalization of homosexuality in the country is why the release of the song carries a deeper message. Within the lyrics of the song there is a message of forbidden love which is showcased in the video with images of a happy young woman as seen through the eyes of her lover contrasted with scenes of disapproval from her family. In a delivery of artistic style, the video doesn’t expose the gender of the lover as another woman until the end.
There is perhaps no other artist who could release a song like this in Iran other than Googoosh, whose popularity is comparable to that of Madonna. Like Madonna, she is using her voice to send out a message that all love is love. Because she is so popular, her message will at least make people stop and think when they hear the lyrics.
Navid Akhavan, an Iranian-born German who wrote and directed the video for the song, says the video has been viewed more than a half a million times in the first 24 hours since its release on Valentine’s Day. In an interview with The Associated Press, Akhavan said that just the fact that so many people have viewed at least “draws attention” even if those who have viewed are against homosexuality.
As newspapers have criticized the video, calling Googoosh “anti-revolutionary”, which means they are afraid that her message would be heard. The twist at the end of the video will catch any viewer off-guard, but the focus is clearly love and the time has come to break taboo and open new perspectives through the language of music. Akhavan felt the timing was just right for the release of the video.
“I thought this would be the perfect time, with this medium of the music video, with this icon Googoosh, to open the conversation about it and to say: freedom to love for all is something that we should understand, and should be for.”
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