Free At Last
Brass, Recycled Bullet Casings
Inspired by the following message on “Queering the map (Palestine)”
‘I’ve always imagined you and me sitting out in the sun, hand [in] hand, free at last. We spoke of all the places we could go if we could.. Yet you are gone now. If I had known that bombs raining down on us would take you from me, I would have gladly told the world how I adored you more than anything. I am sorry I was a coward.’
The intention of this necklace is to serve as a beacon of hope for a world where people coexist not in otherness but in togetherness. It is a projection of the freedom to be one’s authentic self, unburdened by societal expectations or labels. In my envisioned world, the very concept of humanity transcends the notion of crimes against one another. Love flows unconditionally, free from judgment and the oppressive forces that have plagued our history. This wearable safe space is my interpretation of a better world on its way, emerging from the rubble of current atrocities, one in which equality and peace reign supreme, where individuals can proudly identify as whoever they choose to be, and where the collective dream of a free and just society becomes a reality.
Woman Life Freedom Honor
Brass, Recycled Bullet Casings, Human Hair, Pyrite+Resin Inlay
Crafted with intention and purpose, this brooch stands as an emblem, a Medal of Honor, dedicated to the fearless women who courageously navigate the forefront of the ongoing struggle for women's liberation and the transformative (Woman Life Freedom) movement sweeping through Iran today. Its form echoes the timeless design of medals of honor, while its circular nature symbolizes the cyclical rhythm of revolutions: the various stages of simmering discontent, escalating tensions, fervent protests, and eventual rebirth of social, political, or economic paradigms.
Each cycle unfolds with mounting difficulty, as the Islamic Regime’s brutality continues to deepen, so does the sorrow Iranians are experiencing. The people of Iran are a fierce and proud people. According to UN watch, over 465 innocent Iranians involved in protests were executed this year. The Islamic Regime currently occupying Iran arrests women simply for defying hijab laws and utilizes every fear and terror tactic to maintain their power over the country.
My truth is that I, like many Iranians, am forced to bear witness to the unrelenting escalation of the Islamic Regime's cruelty, a heavy burden we all share. In this dark space, a glimmer of hope persists—a hope that change will finally come. In my own small ways, I endeavor to raise awareness, to extend a hand of solidarity to my sisters and brothers around the world. In my visions of a dismantled Islamic Regime, each Iranian who stood tall for rights, for freedom's cause, will be adorned not with one, but with countless Medals of Honor.
Brass, Recycled Bullet Casings
In this ring, I explore complex emotions associated with existing within a cultural duality: to live outside your homeland & culture, especially when there is a strong connection to ancestral roots and a rich cultural history. Amidst the ongoing Woman Life Freedom Revolution in Iran, my community is undergoing heightened fears and emotions, causing our emotional resilience to be put to the test. The community’s intensified sentiments inspire hope and perseverance. Even in decay there is growth.
Poetry by my uncle, Dr. Hooshmand Nayersina
Performance Piece for "Tears of the Diaspora"
Revolution: Visions of Woman Life Freedom
SNAG is proud to host this exhibition, organized & curated by Azita Mireshghi and Siavash Jaraiedi.
The current, women-led revolution in Iran is a reminder of how important it is to fight for freedom. Rev♀luti♀n: Visions of women life freedom is a virtual exhibition of adornment as a powerful political and educational tool, amplifying the voices of those fighting for a free and peaceful life against the Islamic Regime occupying Iran.
By creating a space for dialogue and reflection, Rev♀luti♀n brings attention to this historical moment through art.
Rev♀luti♀n highlights the challenges and sacrifices made for achieving true freedom and equality, to spread awareness and bring about positive change.
Link to exhibition here.
Click below for a pdf version of the archived full exhibition
The Force of Unity
Brass, Recycled Bullet Casings, Human Hair
In the current female-led movement in Iran, women are cutting their hair as a sign of solidarity and as an act of rebellion against forced hijab and oppression. I led an open call for hair submissions, including a video of the participant cutting their hair and saying the movement's slogan, "woman, life, freedom", which I utilized in a video montage related to this work. I collected the hairs and created this piece as a symbolic armor against the Islamic Regime currently occupying Iran. The cuff bracelet is historically associated with female power; to me this is a superhero's cuff: The Iranian Woman. She stands in solidarity with her sisters and fights for freedom, equal rights, and liberty; some of her many superpowers are strength, bravery, resilience and unity.
Ask Me Why You Can’t
Copper, Bronze, Ribbon, Velvet
Portrait photography by Eliana Morales @planeteli333
Look me in my eyes and ask me why you can’t. Did you know that the Islamic Regime currently occupying Iran uses blinding (by shooting people in the eye) as a weapon of war against protesters? Blinding as a weapon of fear and control. Please check out Iran Wire’s special report here to understand how and why this is happening.
-Elaheh Tavakolian, Young Kurdish Woman Who Inspired the Protest Movement
-Benita Kiani Flavarjani, Blinded in One Eye at Age Five
-Zoha Mousavi, Beautician from Isfahan
-Ghazal Ranjkesh, Law Student Whose Words Became a Slogan
-Niloufar Aghaee, Midwife from Tehran
-Saman, the Refugee Who Spoke to International Media
-Nazanin, Teenager Who Couldn't Stand Poverty
-Mohsen Kafshgar, Children's Rights Activist from Amol
-Behzad Hamrahi, Veteran Protester from Tehran
-Shahin, Kurdish Man Hit by at Least 90 Lead Pellets
-Soheil, Café Owner from Shiraz
-Kowsar Khoshnoodi Kia, Archery Champion and Women's Rights Activist
-The Joker of Tehran, A Clown Who Shares Others' Pain
-Mostafa, Returning to Protest after Being Shot
-Ali Mohammadi, Defiant After Losing His Left Eye
-Farid Rashidi, Hairdresser Who Can No Longer Work
-Yaser Alvandiani, an Accomplished Artist and Athlete
-Helia Babayi, The Birdwatcher Who Sacrificed An Eye
-Amir Velayati, The Man Who Turned His Shooter into a Poem
-Shahriar, Robbed of His Eye but Not His Voice
-Ali Tahoneh, The Victory of Light Over Darkness
-Kimia Zand, The Shining Light of Hope
-Iman, Looking for a Miracle
-Kowsar Eftekhari, The Phoenix Who Rose From Her Ashes
-Raheleh Amini, My Injured Eye is a Badge of Honor
-Parsa Ghobadi, Dumped in an Alleyway After Being Shot and Tortured
-Seyed Javad Mousavi, a Father of Two Shot in Both Eyes and Killed
-And all the other brave and courageous Iranians fighting for freedom….
“Statement Jewelry: FREE TOOMAJ”
Copper, Brass, Velvet
The international community, including music and arts institutions as well as freedom of speech and expression organizations, should urgently call for the release from arbitrary imprisonment of dissident rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is widely considered one of the voices of Iran’s protest movement.
Toomaj raps about political and social issues that Iranian authorities have long tried to conceal from domestic and foreign audiences to ward off criticism of their repressive policies. Toomaj took extreme personal risks by further exposing issues that the state wants to hide, like child labor and political repression, through his artistry.
For peacefully criticizing state policies through his music, and because he has a large audience inside Iran, Toomaj has been in jail since October 2022, facing charges that could carry the death penalty. (Source: iranhumanrights.org)