Aside from the talk that she is a martyr for Iran’s opposition movement, many in the West are using her death to educate themselves about Iran’s current crisis, viewing Iran through a lens of violence and cruelty, which many add to their current knowledge of the country as repressive, backward, and unsafe for Americans. Neda’s death may help Iranians band closer together and become stronger in their fight for a government that treats them with respect, but here in the West, her lifeless body is little more than another reminder of the instability and danger of “over there”.
What difference has her death made here in the West? As far as I can tell, the only Western response to her death (aside from the gruesome fact that her last moments are a now common fixture on blogs and news sites) has been a website, weareallneda.com, where mourners can leave messages to a Neda who cannot read them. Below the site’s banner is a stylized rendering of her lifeless face amid a river of blood, shown above left.
The cruelty and horror of Neda’s death may be a call to action, but her death mask shouldn’t.
You can find it here.