December 8, 2022
In less than a week, the U.N. will decide whether to bar Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women following the death of Mahsa Jina Amini, who was arrested by the nation’s “morality police” for not covering her hair properly and later died in custody. To advocate for the country’s removal ahead of the vote, an ongoing campaign titled Women Life Freedom is staging installations across from U.N. headquarters as part of Eyes on Iran, which brought artists like Shirin Neshat, Icy & Sot (previously) and Hank Willis Thomas (previously) to Four Freedoms Park.
“The world’s eyes have been focused on the courage of Iranian citizens in their quest for freedom, in the face of increasingly grave danger,” said activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam Mackay. “The Islamic Republic has censored them and attempted to blind the world to the potential of this movement. Eyes on Iran is our response to their call for a free Iran.”
French artist JR (previously) joined the initiative on December 4, drawing more than 300 people who participated in a large-scale public work. Those in attendance stood next to a silhouette of sixteen-year-old activist Nika Shakarami, who was killed in September during protests against Amini’s death. Volunteers swayed their arms to mimic wind blowing through the teen’s hair, serving as a poignant reminder of the unjust restrictions Iranian women face.
If you’re in New York, you can see the Eyes on Iran works at the park through January 1.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You’ll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!