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Seyed Mehdi Mousavi

Mehdi Mousavi is a prolific poet and cultural activist. Between 1999 and 2013, he published more than 10 collections of poetry in various publishing houses, both in Iran and abroad. Two collections of poems entitled Suddenly and Beeping for the Sheep were denied permission for publication by the Iranian authorities. Mousavi is the leading figure of the ‘Post-modern Ghazal’, which is known for its rejection of conformist religious and ideological dogma. By reflecting on contemporary social and political issues in Iran. Most of the works by this movement has faced severe censorship by the Iranian officials, and almost all of these works were banned in Iran, and have therefore been distributed underground. For more than 16 years, Mousavi has run underground creative writing workshops where artists and intellectuals would discuss their work, literature in general, fine arts, film, philosophy and politics. The gatherings were regularly shut down by the Iranian authorities, who placed Mousavi and several of his peers under surveillance. Facing corporal punishment and prison sentence, together with Fatemeh Ekhtesari, Mousavi fled Iran for Turkey late 2015. They are now safely settled in Lillehammer City of Refuge with the ICORN residency programme.