In a New York Times story today about the election crisis in Iran, it made a reference to samizdat video of a protest march. The Iranian authorities have banned press coverage of the demonstrations and are trying to suppress all information about the dissent:
For the third day in a row, supporters of (opposition candidate Mir Hussein) Moussavi massed in silence, from Hafteh Tir Square, with photographs and samizdat video showing a sea of people at least tens of thousands strong.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, samizdat means:
- 1a. The secret publication and distribution of government-banned literature in the former Soviet Union.
- 1b. The literature produced by this system.
- 2. An underground press.
Samizdat is Russian, coming from sam, meaning self, + izdatel'stvo, meaning publishing house.
I think the NYT story should have given context for the word. Aren't the photos also samizdat? It could read as though it is a style of video, not a form of journalism.
But maybe I don't recognize it because I grew up mostly after the Cold War ended? Does this word look more familiar to any of my Baby Boomer or Gen-X readers?
Here's a link to the video.