Mahaney Arts Center 125
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury, VT 05753
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black and white drawing of people sitting with something in front of their faces

“Woman, Life, Freedom”: Reflections on Protest Art in Iran
The world’s first encounter with last September’s tragic murder of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini by Iran’s “morality police” was through her image. As millions around the world browsed through news and social media, they were shocked by the image of the unconscious Amini hooked up to ventilators—her punishment for showing some hair through a loosely worn scarf. In the days after Amini’s murder, thousands of Iranians protested all over Iran. Remarkably, whether from an art background or not, the actions of these groups bordered on performance and art: women dancing and twirling head scarves or residents participating in nighttime chants from rooftops and apartment windows. If not killed by beatings, bullets, and “non-combat” paintballs that can be fatal when shot at close range, once identified and captured, many protesters faced arrest, imprisonment, punishment, and even execution. Portraits and art inspired by the victims quickly became the hallmark of the uprising in Iran with the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom.” Apart from its feminist edge and the extraordinary bravery of the youth, one thing that distinguishes this uprising from the previous ones is the boldness of its art. By looking at the art of Iran’s recent uprising and other dissident Iranian art forms since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Pamela Karimi will discuss the role of creativity, performance, and art in contemporary world-making.

Sponsored by:
History of Arts and Architecture

Contact Organizer

Davico, Michaela