Neda Agha Soltan, a 27 year old Iranian female who was shot dead in the heart by militia during the 2009 Green Movement became the face of Iran’s struggle. In June 2009, along with three others, Neda was caught in traffic when she was on her way to the protests. She got out of the car for some fresh air and that’s when it all happened. Neda was shot dead in the heart and the last 40 seconds of Neda’s life were captured on a cell phone video and broadcasted internationally via Youtube within minutes.
The idea of having a female protestor with something to say is an image that the brutal Iranian state has tried to hide. Neda is the face of post modernism, social media and a new Iran where women too are entitled to their rights. No longer are the filters of main stream media blinding us, we are now seeing a firsthand affair of an innocent woman being murdered. From the streets of Iran, captured on a cell phone, transmitted online and downloaded on a laptop in mere seconds, Neda displays the power of the post modern community. Within hours it had become one of the most potent threats faced by the Iranian regime in 30 years. Agreeing with Marshall McLuhan’s “global village,” the world has been contracted into a village through electronic technology. During June of 2009, her death had “become the rallying cry of the Iranian rebellion.” The true power of social media, particularly video, was demonstrated through the uncensored grisly images of blood spreading across Neda’s face. In social media, there are no actors, there are no filters, there are no opinions and or biases, it is raw and it is real.
Neda symbolized more than just social media and the post modern community. She quickly became the symbol for the opposition during the Green Movement where her face was a symbol for the millions of youth who suffered the same oppressions by the regime. Her innocent death was a visual piece of evidence revealing the intimidation, force and violence the Iranian security forces use against everyday citizens of Iran. The story of Neda is truly only one of thousands of examples that show the unjustified behavior of the Islamic Republic. Ahmadinejad’s reaction to the iconic victim of the Iranian government crackdown was expressed to Fars News Agency in 2009 when he said that “the massive propaganda of the foreign media, as well as other evidence, proves the interferences of the enemies of the Iranian nation who want to take political advantage and darken the pure face of the Islamic Republic.” This statement alone by the President of Iran shows the direct threat media like Youtube pose to the state. Besides the thousands of journalists imprisoned, international journalists are banned from Iran because the regime does not tolerate the voice of the “satanic” West. This resistance to the West drives more and more citizens to the internet where they find their second identity. The virtual identity is a sign of disrespect to the state as anything Western is deemed un-Iranian. This war between the state and the internet has driven youth away from the government but towards foreign influenced media. Blocking internet sites and preventing internet usage is a failed approach by the state to gain the trust and respect it expects from its citizens.
We are all Neda.
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 BBC. Death Video woman ‘targeted by militia.’ June 22, 2009.
 Weaver, Matthew. The Guardian. How Neda Agha-Soltan became the face of Iran’s struggle.
 Living Internet. Marshall McLuhan Forsees The Global Village.
 Kennedy, Helen. NY Daily News. Neda young girl brutally killed in Iran becoming symbol of rebellion. June 22, 2009.
 CNN. Ahmadinejad: Neda’s death is ‘suspicious’. June 29, 2009.