If you watch one more Harlem shake video, make sure it's the one that's more than a meme.
The Harlem Shake video craze has had a great run since Filthy Freddy first uploaded the goofy dorm room dance about a month ago. Thursday, the video’s success culminated in a Billboard No.1 single designation for the techno song that has fueled so many flaming limbs, Baauer’s “Harlem Shake.” Some netizens may have already grown weary of watching the creative use of non-traditional headgear and sleeping bag wiggles. But if there’s one last Harlem Shake video to watch before the meme goes the way of Antoine Dodson and the Keyboard Cat, this important, light-hearted gem from ZirZameen might just be the most revolutionary iteration of the format to date.
ZirZameen is a bi-monthly culture and activism TV and Web Program broadcast in English and Farsi via Voice of America’s Persian Service into Iran. ZirZameen, an Iranian term for “underground,” was just picked up by Voice of America–the United States government’s international media organization–and the show’s four episodes have already racked up almost 15,000 views on YouTube.
ZirZameen’s access to Iranian televisions creates a unique opportunity to reach the heavily-censored Farsi-speaking market. With this power ZirZameen is trying to expose Iranians to examples of art and activism that are unavailable or hard to access for much of that country. Executive Producer Sahar Sarshar explained her intentions on Facebook:
“What we are doing with the Harlem Shake is still quite big and not something the Iranian government will think highly of. It’s illegal to dance in public in Iran, so by participating in this Harlem Shake, we are only encouraging such acts in a country where something like this would be prohibited! So let’s have some fun in the name of freedom of expression all over the world.”
To make the fun happen and bring out the bouncy bodies, ZirZameen enlisted the help of Sham Lifestyle Agency, a Washington DC based company known for throwing the most eclectic and energetic parties in our nation’s capital over the past few years. So laugh, dance, and viva the “Harlem Shake” revolution!