Negar Mottahedeh

Book cover
Courtesy of Negar Mottahedeh

In the aftermath of the overthrow of Iran's last monarch Mohammad Reza Shah, women in that country marked International Women’s Day for the first time in 50 years. The event held deep symbolic importance for the women who had been instrumental in that overthrow. But what was conceptualized as a celebration soon became a protest against a mandatory veiling decree.

An image of Negar Mottahedeh
Golbarg Bashi

It's easy to think of a "selfie" as a narcissistic way to accrue "likes" on social media and  flaunt your latest traveling adventures. But every "selfie" tells a story about the photographer's world.

Negar Mottahedeh, associate professor of literature at Duke University in Durham, says taking a selfie is a humanizing way to document history in the age of social media. In a recent speech at TEDxDurham, Mottahedeh illustrated the ways selfies can be used as tools for protest and citizen journalism.