Cognito Comics

Iran Hostage Crisis 30th Anniversary Meets WikiLeaks -- All-Star Panel

Amy Goodman, Stephen Kinzer to Host Event on Revolution, Leaks, and New Technology.

This coming week marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the Iran Hostage Crisis, when students and militants imprisoned 52 Americans in Tehran for 444 days.

To commemorate the 1981 hostage crisis, New York Times veteran and best-selling author Stephen Kinzer ( All the Shah's Men ) joins Amy Goodman , Columbia's Dr. Hamid Dabashi (Chair, Iranian Studies) and renowned media critic Mark Crispin Miller to re-examine this historic incident, and discuss its impact on current events.

The all-star event will occur two days before the Jan. 20th anniversary, on Tuesday, Jan. 18th at Manhattan's Society for Ethical Culture (2 W. 62nd St at Central Park West).

Contributing: Media and tech pioneer Daniel Burwen, founder of Cognito Comics and publisher of Operation Ajax (an interactive iPad app about the crisis' roots); eBook innovator Harold Moss of FlickerLab; and the Emmy-nominated author of Ajax, Mike deSeve. They'll present breakthrough ways history can be brought to new audiences in today's wired world, including their new iPad app about Iran, Operation Ajax.

Also presenting will be Iranian-born Navid Khonsari, director of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, who will announce his multi-player game, "1979 - Revolution," in which several players can take roles as Iranian revolutionaries, students, hostages and U.S. soldiers.

Among the panel questions:

• How would modern technology, wikis and social networking have altered the hostage crisis?
• What if secret 1953 CIA coup plans had been leaked in 1978 instead of recently?
• Will new "weapons of mass instruction" including WikiLeaks and iPads aid or harm the causes of peace and democracy?
• How will popularizing the history of Iran and America's relations alter them in the future?

As an example of breakthrough technologies used to re-examine the era, Kinzer, Burwen and de Seve will unveil Operation Ajax, their new iPad collaboration. Operation Ajax is an innovative "motion graphic novel" that uses cinematic, multi-touch and gaming techniques to teach about the roots of the crisis - and is an interactive source for several leaked CIA documents about the overthrow democratic Iran, and the instigating role of BP.

Stephen Kinzer notes: "It's been fifteen years since, during a reporting trip to Iran, I decided to write a book about how the CIA overthrew Iran's Prime Minister in 1953. That's why I was so thrilled when a group of digital visionaries approached me about producing an interactive iPad app about the coup."

"FlickerLab is setting new standards for ebooks and digital art, which are truly the news and education tools of the future. We're excited to be part of this panel with progressive journalists and media makers," says Harold Moss, FlickerLab's Creative Director.

Mike de Seve adds, "It's an amazing array of voices and ideas about this anniversary."

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Event sponsor Cognito Comics produces graphic novels that address a wide range of research-rich topics inaccessible in print media. Visit Follow them on Twitter at

For more information about Cognito Comics: 

Katie Edmonds

(415) 271-8660

Additional contacts: 

Mike de Seve
(646) 221-4142

Stephen Kinzer
(708) 386-1495 

Harold Moss
(212) 560-9228

Categories: Conventions, Trade Shows, Meetings, and Events, Conventions, Trade Shows, Meetings and Events

Tags: 30th Anniversary, Amy Goodman, BP, CIA, Dabashi, ebook, Grand Theft Auto, graphic novel, Hostage, Hostage Crisis, iPad, Iran, Kinzer, Mark crispin Miller, Mike deSeve, Monsters vs. Aliens, wikileaks

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Katie Edmonds
Cognito Comics