This conversation was recorded live, at Brunswick Heads, as the second of five live interviews as part of the ‘Resilience & Regeneration Roadshow’, in collaboration with Renew Fest and Resilient Byron
This is where we are holding community forums in villages around the Byron Shire bringing people together to discuss and action how we can create resilient communities.
It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved in these forums and the community involvement and enthusiasm has been just awesome. I really can’t wait to bring you the rest of these live conversations with some other incredible Byron Shire locals, which I will be releasing in between my regular fortnightly long-form episode schedule.
So to my guest today… Zara Noruzi is an Iranian born woman, activist, and author of the book 'My Life as a Traitor', where she details her experience standing up for her beliefs in her native country of Iran.
As a university student she started standing up for women’s rights by writing articles, organising peaceful protests, and asking questions of the regime as to why women were denied basic rights.
All perfectly reasonable and fair things to do… or so she thought.
At 19 years old, she was arrested. She was held in prison, questioned, tortured, and starved. Just for what she believed in.
Zara tells her story with such deep reflection. She goes into detail the impact it had on her youthful optimism, and she recounts the very limited human connection she had through that experience, and how important that was for her.
She then goes on to describe how truly impactful our beliefs and actions can be, and says that our ideas are a superpower, that can have an enormous impact on those around us.
But we need accountability. And this is the thing; we all say we want connected neighbourhoods and villages. We all want renewable energy. We all want resilient communities.
But Zara asks: What are we willing to contribute? What are we willing to give up? Is it some of our time, instead of watching Netflix? Is it opening our doors to someone facing rental challenges? Is it paying more for the things that we know are better? Is it giving up watermelons in the middle of winter?
It’s not enough to say ‘this is what we want’ and expect someone else to deliver it to us.
We have to take action, and we have to bring to life the ideas and beliefs that we express.
Zara’s story and her way of speaking is so real, and she truly set the tone for the rest of the forum. I had people coming up to me after our conversation saying ‘Wow, that put things into perspective for me’… so I hope it does for you.
Please enjoy this conversation, live, from the Resilience & Regeneration roadshow in Brunswick Heads, with Zara Noruzi