Iran Revolutionary Art Projection at UCSB

By Robert Bernstein

On September 16, a 22-year-old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini was arrested in Iran by their “morality police” for allegedly wearing her head scarf (hijab) “incorrectly”. At the time she was in a car with her family, heading into the capital of Tehran.

Within hours she was in a coma and was declared dead within two days. The government of Iran has lied about every aspect of her death. All evidence is that she was murdered for a trivial dress code matter.

The outrage in Iran and around the world has been huge and sustained. Previous protests have occurred against the theocratic dictatorship in Iran in 2009, 2017, and 2019. But this looks to be bigger and continuing without end.

Here in Santa Barbara have been ongoing marches and rallies downtown and at UCSB.

Here are two articles I published here since the murder of Mahsa.

This one from last October gives more of the historical background, including the US overthrow of the liberal secular government of Iran in the 1950s and Reagan’s deals with the Islamists in the 1980s:

And this one from April talked about much of the current revolutionary fervor being against Islam and not just against the current Islamist oppressive government:

On May 9, we were privileged to have a public art show at UCSB via outdoor projection on the outside wall of the UCSB Art, Design and Architecture Museum. The show ran from 8-11PM.

The MOZAIK Philanthropy solicited art for the show from October to November of 2022. The art was solicited globally, from inside and outside Iran. But the art jury was entirely composed of Iranian women of the Diaspora, including Visual Artist and Illustrator, Arghavan Khosravi; Scholar, Cultural Historian & Art Curator, Dr. Shiva Balaghi; and MOZAIK Philanthropy’s founder, Neda Nobari. Dr Shiva Balaghi is a cultural historian at UCSB. This jury selected 30 works of art to be displayed anonymously, out of hundreds that were submitted.

Here are my photos and video. Here was the flyer for the event.

Here is how it was presented on the Museum wall.

Here is my video of the entire presentation at UCSB.

And here are some of my favorite images from the show.

The latter showing solidarity between the people of Ukraine and of Iran.

While the show is traveling to different places, it needed some work to be shown on the limited wall space at our UCSB art museum. Jonathan Smith is the wizard of The Environment Makers who did some heroic editing to make it work. Some of it involved cropping to fit the limited aspect ratio of the wall. Other more dramatic editing was needed that blew me away. For Jonathan it is a challenge, but one he is used to! Here he kindly posed with me a few days later at the Solstice Workshop opening.

Here is the virtual exhibit and background information at the Mozaik Philanthropy website.


Written by sbrobert

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