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Shirin Neshat Is the Latest Artist to Protest in Solidarity With Iran

In collaboration with Circa, Neshat has released a new print with full proceeds benefitting human rights groups.

Iranian-born, New York-based artist Shirin Neshat has worked with art collective Circa on a new digital mural and print raising awareness to the current humanitarian crisis in Iran.

For those unfamiliar to the events, several weeks ago, a 22-year-old woman in Tehran named Mahsa Amini fell into a coma and died while being detained by the nation’s “Morality Police” on charges of improperly wearing her hijab. According to a report by BBC, Amini’s father accused the Iranian authorities of beating his daughter, to which they refuted and said she died from “sudden heart failure.” Afterwards, nationwide protests sparked across the country of roughly 84m residents, as well as across social media from the global Iranian diaspora.

The protests have ensued for 20 days now, including raids on students who were barricaded at Sharif University in Tehran, along with at least 133 protestors who have been killed thus far at the hands of the regime, per ABC News.

Neshat, who is the only person in history to have won a Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale (1999) and a Silver Lion at the Venice International Film Festival (2009), has long criticized the treatment of women at the hands of the current Iranian regime, such as the photos and videos in her seminal solo exhibition, I Will Greet the Sun Again, which went on view at The Broad in 2020.

In collaboration with Circa, Neshat is currently selling a limited-edition print titled WOMAN LIFE FREEDOM, which echoes the chants heard in cities across the world and on social media feeds. Earlier this week, the same mural was digitally displayed at London’s Piccadilly Circus and at Pendry West Hollywood in Los Angeles until October 4. In a statement on the piece, Neshat said, “For me, the meaning of the text and the bullets [in Moon Song] suggests the modern and contemporary reality of Iran, while the paisley and other floral motifs are symbolic of Iranians’ rich ancient Persian history.”

WOMAN LIFE FREEDOM is a time-limited giclèe print on Hahnemüle Museum Etching paper. The artwork measures 297mm x 117mm and will available to purchase until October 30.

50% of proceeds will be donated to Human Rights Watch, who investigate and report on cases of abuse happening around the world. Neshat will also donate the remaining 50% in support of the #CIRCAECONOMY – a circular model designed to support free public art programs and help cultivate more creative opportunities for the global community.

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