Requiem for Freedom | Forough Yavari


Canson Galreie Baryta Prestige 340gsm – Pressed on foam board
90 x 51 cm
Edition 1/3

As a Middle East woman who was born and grew up in Iran, I had the experience of living in a patriarchal society run by a religious extremist regime.
Like many other girls in Iran, I have many stories from school, university, and streets, getting questioned about why I was wearing jeans or colourful socks, having my hair shown from under the scarf or wearing short uniforms. And that was besides so many other things that I had to fight for as a woman in my everyday life until I left the country.
I had the experience of getting arrested by the ‘morality police&’ force or ‘basijis’ (civvies) several times for my ‘hijab’ not being appropriate, making asking this question that what future I can have here as a woman when I have no freedom to choose what I wear, one of the most basic rights for every human.
I believe it is not all about hijab; it is much more than that. Hijab is just an excuse for the regime to have more power and control over women and society.
I created this image in 2017 when I heard many news stories in Iran about the extended brutality of the morality police against young girls and women.
Today we see and hear about young kids arrested, bitten and killed in front of their friends in schools because they bravely stood up and said enough is enough.
This photo is a statement against extremism, the power of the religious extremist regime over women, and the way they treat them. It is questioning the authority of those male-dominated systems oppressing the freedom of speech and appearance of women.

Ladder Art Space and the curator team do not take any profit or commission from this exhibition.

Purchased artworks can be collected from Thursday 1 December, 6:30 pm* during gallery hours
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 12-6 pm, Saturday 11 am-6 pm
*Gallery is open until 8:30 pm on the 1 December for the next opening night


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Exhibition Statment

The advancement of globalization has led to growing interdependence between nations, whereby their ideologies and cultures are constantly fused. This has, in turn, augmented the understanding between mankind and made them part of a larger whole – humanity. A key element that facilitates the conversation between human beings, regardless of their nationality and language, is art. Art has the capacity to, in its own way, give expression to human sufferings and challenges in the face of conflicts, and facilitate the dialogue between nations.

The ‘Zan, Zendegi, Azadi’ exhibition is an artistic attempt that aims to portray the current women’s & freedom movement in Iran, make their voices resonate across the world, and convey Iranians’ emotions. In doing so, it hopes to represent a realistic image of the courageous acts, sacrifices, and resistance of Iranians while their suppressive government is ceaselessly attempting to choke their voices by shutting down the Internet. More than eight centuries ago, the famous Iranian poet, Saadi, wrote that “if you have no sympathy for human pain, the name of human you cannot retain”. It is hoped that this exhibition increases understanding about and, by extension, sympathy for Iranians.


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