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Artist Reflection

Artist Blog by Atoosa Farahmand

Our vision with the project Not A Typical Persian Girl is to not only shine a light on the complexity of the situation for women and girls in Iran but also to connect their struggles to those of women all over the world. We both have reflected on our past, and present, and on motherhood, and how the women in our life have affected us in being the people we are today. Our mothers, their mothers and all mothers before them, have together fought for their rights, our rights, and others rights’ to equality. They have inspired us to create a project that addresses both the global importance of women’s lives and narratives and also how these lives and narratives are specifically shaped and fought for in Iran.

Women's rights in Iran are a vast subject and we discovered a huge amount of data that we tried to compress into this publication. Further complicating matters, the laws against women in Iran, as in many places around the globe, are both de jure and de facto, written and unwritten, and affect every part of women’s daily lives. Women and girls are constantly harassed for breaking these different, confusing laws, and we hope it becomes apparent through our work just how insidious and devastating their enforcement can be.

Indeed, struggles for freedom resonate worldwide: although it might be easy to turn one’s eyes away from difficult circumstances or violent situations in far-off places, such challenges inevitably affect our larger global community. Understanding these connections, and attending to them through solidarity work, is of the most urgent concern in a world beset by interrelated events like migration, climate change, poverty, threats against ethnic and gender minorities, and the rise of anti-democratic and fascist movements on the European continent. If we can acknowledge our connections to others both near and far, and harness our privileges and abilities - whether these be political, artistic, intellectual, economic, etc. - we will be better poised to collaborate in the fight for the protection of human rights everywhere.

Our intervention represents one way of calling attention to the plight of a specific marginalized community. We invite you to consider how this plight - and the brave actions of those fighting for change - connects to your local community. As the civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer noted, ‘Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.’ What part might you play in changing things for the better?

Atoosa Farahmand & Oscar Hagberg

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