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Future Belongs to the Fallen Buried Without a Shroud

Posted on: 2nd May, 2011
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Farzad Kamangar wrote the following piece in memory of a political prisoner from 1980’s.  This political prisoner who suffered from terrible poor vision used a small piece of cardboard in place of each lens when his glasses broke during beatings and torture.  This was the last image of him seen by his mother.  The aforementioned political prisoner was subsequently murdered under torture and was buried in an unknown and unmarked grave.  This piece has been dedicated by Farzad Kamangar to the mother of this political prisoner.


Prison is the tale of body and lash, fist and captivity, rope and neck, fire and skin, lead and heart.  Prison is a melody to keep alive hope; prison is a pane to a glistening future.


First Image – Santiago, Chile:

A tormentor is crushing his prisoner’s hands so that he doesn’t play the guitar or compose songs and lullabies for Chilean children, but he sings without pause:


Come, come, come

Come; we hurl down the road spread ahead

Another future is about to evolve


Years later, the headlines in Chilean newspapers read, “Rest Peacefully; Dictator Died.”

And the guitarist adorns the pages of a poet’s collected works, and people adore the master verse in their poet’s masterpiece.


Second Image – Soviet Prisons – Stalin:

Beria passes judgment, murders, hacks into pieces and exiles anyone who believes differently.

Several decades later!

A youngster at school reads his country’s contemporary history, and by hearing Beria’s name, he spits on the floor.  Another youngster angrily tears the pages of his book apart.


Third Image – 1980’s – Iraq:

A caravan of women, girls, children, the young and the old are moved towards the vast deserts of Nugra Salman for genocide.  A child  clenches her doll tighter to her chest and counts the stars with eyes wide open while she is buried under piles of dirt.  A girl commits suicide before her honor is stained under Ali Hassan Majid’s brazen gaze.


In the third act, my little sisters without a bridal gown, innocent and pure, with the sun shining down on their coffins, return to their birth place.


A child in Halabja boldly urinates on Saddam’s picture and statue.

A young Shi’a during the dictator’s execution howls, “Go to hell.”

And a Kurd steps into Baghdad’s castles and ridicules Saddam.


Fourth Image – Diyarbakir Prison, Turkey – 1980’s:

The General rapes the family of a prisoner in order to break his resistance, and to keep Nowruz alive, a prisoner sets himself ablaze to become eternal in the flames of Nowruz.


During Nowruz 2009, the children of Diyarbakir in every corner of their neighborhoods daringly chant, “The General is a coward.”  A crowd of millions gather around Nowruz’s bonfire, the same flames that the General thought extinguished.


Last Image – 1980’s Evin Prison – Tehran:

A prisoner with broken eyeglasses heads to see his mother for the last time so that he can carry her image with him to his grave.  A few weeks later, his clothing and glasses are delivered to his mother.


Years later, another prisoner from Evin writes to his fiancé, and the girl reads the letter to her grandmother while the old woman holds the broken eyeglasses in her hands.  The girl reads:


Anywhere in the world, let them remain unknown in broken tombs, without gravestones or crosses.

Let them become one with the soil; let a free cypress whose roots run deep in their hearts and its branches soar high in the sky be their mark.


Let them remain unknown.  “Future belongs to the fallen buried without a shroud.”


Farzad Kamangar

Evin Prison

Ordibehesht 1389 [April – May 2010]