The murder of the Kurdish woman, Jîna (Mahsa) Aminî, by the Iranian morality police in September 2022 lead to the widescale demonstrations, which have been coined the feminist revolution in Iran. Based on the seventeen interviews and conversations with women artists and activists conducted in the Iranian Kurdistan on the eve of the protests, I discuss the links between Kurdish heritage, contemporary art and women empowerment. I draw from the Gregory Ashcroft’s grasp on heritage understood as responding to the needs of contemporary people (2015), as well as from the notion of performative citizenship which imagines citizenship as the constant process of actions and negotiations which constitute the individual performing body (Hildebrandt and Peters, 2019).
In 2011, Hadi Ziaoddini created a sculpture of the women poet and chronicler Masture Ardalan (1805-1847). Located in the city of Sine (Sanandaj) the statue is a unique example of a woman figure standing in the Islamic Republic of Iran. She does not wear hijab and as stressed by many women artists: “she represents herself, a woman individual who did something interesting in her life”. In recent decade it inspired many young women in Iranian Kurdistan “to enter the men’s world” and develop their interests in modern literature, painting and photography. Finally, depicted in Kurdish cloths, Masture makes visible the marginalised Kurdish identity which along with the Kurdish slogan “jin, jiyan, azadî” started to attract attention of the many Iranians who took to the streets in 2022.
Joanna Bochenska, Jagiellonian University, Poland
About the Presenter(s)
Professor Joanna Bochenska is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Jagiellonian University in Poland
See this presentation on the full schedule – Saturday Schedule