Page 72

LGBT Republic of Iran: An Online Reality?

4.4. Ketabhaneh88: the online queer book fair of Iran

ketabhaneh88: the online queer book fair of iran

4.4

// Ketabkhaneh88, an online queer (Persian, degarbash) book

fair supported from outside Iran by gay rights activist and les-

bian poet Saghi Ghahraman, was uploaded to coincide with the opening of Tehran’s International Book Fair in May 2009. The

idea came from inside Iran, from a gay poet who said to Saghi,

“Alternative literature is censored by the Ministry of Culture and

Guidance, but gay literature is prohibited from even being sent to the Ministry; we are non-existent, even in literature”.

Another gay poet, who also pioneered the idea, worked with

Saghi to ready the selected literature for Ketabkhaneh88. He took the first steps towards establishing a publishing com-

pany called Gilgamishan, which is exclusively for LGBT titles.

Saghi’s role was to support and edit the work alongside him,

undertaking the tasks that were impossible for him to do from inside Iran, tasks like communicating with the publisher and

registering Gilgamishan Publishing in Toronto. In an e-mail to

Small Media Saghi Ghahraman said, “I handled those parts that needed an actual person with an ID card, but the rest we owe

to the gay community of Iran, and their leaders and influential figures”.

Ketabkhaneh88’s website, which was originally hosted on the

Iran-based Blogfa platform, was ultimately filtered and forcibly taken down by the Iranian government. It was re-uploaded to Blogspot in July 2010, following a similar trajectory to Khaneh Honar blog, which was discussed earlier in this report.

LGBT Republic of Iran: An Online Reality?  

A Small Media report revealing how Iran’s LGBT communities use global communicationstechnology in their everyday lives.

LGBT Republic of Iran: An Online Reality?  

A Small Media report revealing how Iran’s LGBT communities use global communicationstechnology in their everyday lives.

Advertisement