Arash Chakeri is an Iranian writer, poet, lyricist, and scholar of Persian literature. He has published five works – including novels and collections of poetry and lyrics. Chakeri has developed a career as a respected lyricist since 2006, writing the lyrics to title themes of at least four films, as well as songs for a variety of artists.
In 2005, Chakeri was awarded the top prize of the Shorab Sepehri Festival, and in 2009 was awarded the prize and title of ‘Hedayatologist’. In 2008 he sat on the jury of the ‘International Festival of the Last Saviour,’ held by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
Since Chakeri published his first collection of ghazals, Loneliness, in 2003, without a license from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, he has faced ongoing state censorship. Three years later, a second poetry anthology, Guitar Tears (2006) faced censorship from the Ministry, which forced him to delete a number of his poems about underground political and social activism.
Though his songs had been well received and highly downloaded, Chakeri has continued to face harassment from security forces and Islamlic authorities. In his call for freedom and democracy in Iran, he faced escalating pressures. On numerous occasions, Chakeri was attacked, arrested, and threatened.
In November 2013, Chakeri was arbitrarily detained and questioned about his public criticism of the state in his recent publication of his novel I was dead, which is now banned from publication in Iran. Of particular concern has been the reception of his latest song ‘Made in China,’ which calls for freedom and democracy and is highly critical of the Iranian government.
He left Iran and arrived in Brussels City of Refuge in December 2015, where he will continue his work.
Find Chakeri's works and music on his official website