I rarely speak of my heritage, however I am a very proud Iranian woman. I come from a country with a poetic language, rich culture and years of history and dynasties. Although the people of my country has lived under very unfair circumstances for over 30 years, the fact remains the same – we rise, and the women of Iran keeps pushing the boundaries.
As social media grew, I was no where to find a the archetype of what I could define as role model. First after discovering Shirin Neshat, Iranian artist living in exile, that I understood that what really moved me – and it had nothing to do with mainstream westernised culture. Please take a few moments and watch Shirin Neshat talk at TED in the Youtube video below, inspiring speech to say the least. If you’re not an Iranian, or Iranian but never been back to Iran – it might be challenging to comprehend what conditions our people are living under. Having lived in Tehran and both Sweden, I’m forever torn between these paradoxes.
Shirin lives in New York City. She is a visual artist who has gained recognition for her photography, film and video installations, which she has used to express complex, philosophical ideas. Winner of numerous awards, including most recently the Grand Prix of the Kwangju Biennale in Korea (2000), the Visual Art Award of the Edinburgh Festival (2000), the Golden Lion Award of the 48th Venice Biennale (1999) and ARCO in Madrid for the best project. In 2009 she won the Silver Lion for best director at the 66th Venice Film Festival for her directional debut Women without Men, based on Shahrnush Parsipur’s novel of the same name.