Woman Life Freedom Conference, University of the Arts London (UAL)

A 2 day conference “Tomorrow, Today: Woman Life Freedom” Wednesday April 19th / Thursday April 20th 2023. The aim of this cross-disciplinary conference is to promote understanding and solidarity with the WLF movement, and promote discussion and collaboration amongst diaspora here in UK.

VIDEOS from the conference are being uploaded HERE.

“Tomorrow, Today: Woman Life Freedom” aspires to a better future for #Iran in our own lifetime. An information dissemination exercise, the conference is contextualised entirely by the struggle of the citizens of Iran and the particularity of being one of Iran’s diaspora at this time.

Free to attend for staff, students & post graduate researchers of the arts colleges (UAL comprises Central Saint Martins, Chelsea School of Arts, Camberwell Art School, London College of Fashion, London College of Communication, Wimbledon Art School, and these Institutes: UAL Storytelling, Creative Computing, Fashion Textiles & Technology, and the Decolonising Arts Institute). Tickets for the public are linked here.

The full progamme is below.

Tomorrow, Today: Woman Life Freedom

Wednesday April 19th 

9.45am Doors, welcome, refreshments – music

10.00am Conference introduction and contextual framework 

10.10 Panel 1 – “A Revolution Made by Art”

Malu Halasa (Transit Tehran) on the research for her forthcoming book Woman, Life, Freedom and Dr Pamela Karimi – (Alternative Iran) – MIT graduate, architect, architectural historian and Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

10.50 Presentation:“Zoroastrian Dress, Philosophy and Customs”

Shahin Bekhradnia – magistrate, founder Pourchista Skills Foundation in Yazd, Iran to empower young women

11.30am Break, Refreshments

11.45 Key note 1 – “Responding Therapeutically to Victims of War and Torture in Isolation”

Shirin Amani Azari, author, psychotherapist specialised in PTSD. Working with war and torture victims since 2000, online therapy to patients in Iran via Mahsa Medical.

12.15 Panel 2 – “Documenting the Power of Hope, An Iranian Diaspora in Flux”

Niaz Maleknia, documentary photographer, MA lecturer at UAL, Sinai Noor – filmmaker and photographer, Hesam Ghamavi – documentary and fine art photographer

1-2pm lunch 

2.05pm Performance – Jasmine Faulkner – opera singer

2.15pm Proposal – “Youth of Iran”

2.25 – Presentation – “Data Gathering on Covert Human Rights Violations”

Dr. Rokhsareh Mkhani, PhD – data scientist

2.40 Panel 3 – “Mind and Body as a witness: Fleeing persecution in Iran

Shiva Mahbobi – Campaigner and psychotherapist, of CFPPI (Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran)

“Into the Free World: Surviving a Climate of Oppression

Saeed Khalilirad, UKCP, BABCP, BACP –  Political activist/ psychotherapist

3.20 Break, Refreshments

3.40 Key note 3 – “Documenting a Revolution and its Challenges”

Dr. Omid Shams, international human rights lawyer, researcher / analyst (Iranwire)

4.25 Closing discussion 

5pm END

5.30-7pm Networking drinks – External venue

Tomorrow, Today – Woman Life Freedom

Thursday April 20th 

9.45am Doors – welcome, refreshments, – music

10am Conference introduction and recap as a contextual framework 

10.10 Key note 4  “The Need for a Viable Unified Iranian Diaspora Women’s Movement.”

Sippi Azarbaijani-Moghaddam – International development consultant, in Conflict and Post-Conflict Countries, esp Afghanistan| Gender Equality Expert, academic focusing on women and armed groups in conflict and post-conflict areas.

10.40 Talk – “Let’s Not Wait for the Next Generation, Start Here!”

Shirin Naseri (TV Producer, Confidence Coach (NLP), CEO of Zanvibe a hub for women’s vitality.)

11.05 Break, Refreshments

11.20 Paper – “The Right to Protest: Civil Disobedience in Women, Life, Freedom Movement.”

Dr. Nargess Tavassolian – Legal analyst and Journalist at Iran International

11.50 Panel 4 – “How Iranian Women Defined the Point of No Return”

Samaneh Savadi – feminist activist, founder of Cheragh Academy, the first online education platform to confront perennial sexual harassment in Iran’s workplaces, Negin Shiraghaei – entrepreneur, broadcaster, human rights advocate – Azadi Network

12.30 – Q&A “Towards a Free Iran from a British-Iranian Perspective”

Nika Hazini – lawyer, human rights advocate

1-2pm Lunch 

2pm Performance/ presentation – “Lor Song and Dress”

Hamed Jafarian – singer, human rights activist

2.15pm Talk- “Body as a Political Tool: Vahid Behshti’s Hunger Strike Outside the FCO, London”

Cllr Mattie Heaven for Coventry

2.25 Paper – “Digital Rights Violations in Iran”

Fari Bradley, PhD Researcher, Centre for Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP), LCC

2.45 Key note 5 – “Iran and Nuclear Diplomacy – Mastering the Art of Deception”

Dr Bahram Ghiassee – Nuclear analyst & academic, specialising in non-proliferation & nuclear security

3.15 Break, Refreshments

3.30 Panel 11 – “A Lens in the Light, a Lens in the Dark; a Fine Art Photography Practice in and Looking Back at Iran”

Niaz Maleknia – documentary photographer, MA lecturer at UAL and Dr. Amak Mahmoodian – photographer, artist

4.15 Closing Discussion 

4.45 – Film

5pm END

5.30-7pm Networking drinks – External venue

Some panels will be filmed (speakers only) according to the speaker’s preferences. Media will be posted here after the conference in due course.

The artwork featured here is by artist Kiarash Khalili.

Supported by The Arts Student Union.

Some panels will be filmed according to the speaker’s preferences. Media will be posted here after the conference in due course.

The artwork featured here is by artist Kiarash Khalili

Supported by The Arts Student Union