“Woman, Life, Freedom: Voices and Art from the Women’s Protests in Iran”

An anthology of the past year’s art of the protest has researched and edited by author Malu Halasa (The Secret of Syrian Lingerie, Transit Tehran) and comes out this month on Saqi Books.

For the launch event we held talks to a sold-out audience at Rich Mix and I performed a sound piece with one of my live hand-made instruments, together with artist Tasala Tabassom. For the piece I used anonymous audio recordings sent to me for broadcast about the situation in Iran, as well as audio from the most moving video evidence I have come across in the past year. Tabassom staged a live drawing with a bespoke costume of hair, barely covering her little frame for the event. I live-streamed this while playing, see below.

Inside the book, my written piece and photo detail the wearable art I’ve been making for the street protests and political rallies we have held and attended over the past year. The illustration is of my very-British-bowler-hat, with #TheunIslamicRegimeofIran in disco-gold, riding my bike with megaphone in the basket. The text describes how my practice evolved from making sound pieces for a gallery context or to release on vinyl and so on, to text on cloth, banners, flags and items of clothing featuring hashtags and slogans and what that meant to a distinctively British-Iranian identity, not just for me but for the peers I encountered on our first weekly gatherings at Trafalgar Square. Catch us on Saturday October 14th 2023, we will also be at Wimbledon Book Fair for an in-depth panel discussion: myself, illustrator Roshi Rouzbehani, author Malu Halasa and journalist and one-time head of Index on Censorship, Jo Glanville.

Poetess Forugh Farrokhzad by Soheila Sokhnavari