This Tavaana-exclusive introduction to the disability rights movement in Iran presents different models of disability and formulates an argument for progressive change in Iranian society based on a “social” model of disability. As part of this approach, Biopower: Discussions on Disability and Social Change examines disability as a discursive construction that has resulted in the repression of disabled individuals in Iran. It also employs philosophical, political, and cultural arguments to analyze the repressive laws, cultural artifacts, and prevalent negative mindsets that have adversely impacted the lives of the disabled. Calling for a collaborative national endeavor to recognize the disabled’s individual, social, and political rights, Biopower argues for changes in laws, employment policies, urban planning, transportation systems, public spaces, and education in order to empower all Iranians. The book calls for both disabled and able-bodied individuals to undertake civic activism for social change. It also discusses change in language, arts, literature, and sociopolitical discourses to avoid the cultivation of negative mindsets toward those with disabilities.
Author Saeed Sabzian is a PhD student in rhetoric at the University of Waterloo, Canada and researches aesthetics for democratic and deliberative implications.