Weapons of Mouse Destruction is the largest global art project against Internet censorship that has ever been launched. Our mission is simple: use art as a medium to promote advocacy and awareness about government Internet censorship — a growing epidemic impacting the lives of millions of people worldwide.
We enlist the participation of people from around the world to use their picture as a symbol of solidarity and make a bold statement against Internet censorship. With the help of the international community, we have the power to transform an art project into a global movement that will impact the lives of millions of people.
If you want to empower people, give them access to free flows of information. As we have seen in Egypt and Tunisia, knowledge and awareness have the power to transform lives and change societies.
In 2009, Saman Arbabi co-created Parazit, the ground- breaking Persian-language satirical show, known as “The Daily Show of Iran.” Saman uses his signature wit, street art style and anti-establishment attitude to directly poke fun at the daily gaffes and inherent tragedies that exist in Iran today. The name Parazit means “TV static” in Persian, and every week the show breaks through the regime’s static by reclaiming the medium in ways that has never been done before.
Even though the Iranian government’s strict censorship practices make a show like Parazit illegal and attempt to punish those who watch it, Parazit has became a popular phenomenon in Iran and abroad. The program uses alternate channels of distribution to evade censorship, challenge an oppressive regime and reach the pulse of millions of young Iranians–a previously unreachable audience. Through web streaming, bootleg DVD distribution, blogs and Facebook, Parazit has managed to drive the program further underground and contribute to its outlaw status and popularity.
With the experience of being a war correspondent in the Middle East and a career that involves constantly challenging the Iranian regime, Saman saw many other parallels in the world of paranoid and insecure governments who aggressively monitor and censor their people. “One morning, as I was eating a cucumber with salt, I thought to myself: ‘ If I can piss off one tyrant, why can’t I piss them all off?’” This is how Saman came up with the idea to launch the largest global art project against government Internet censorship.