I was born in Iran in 1991 into a female body under patriarchy, and grew into mixed feelings about femalehood and estranged from my body. Went to gender-segregated schools. Puberty was a mess. Learned how to navigate an unequal education system and excelled at it. By 18 I was struggling with my identity both within the traditional system of family, and as an individual within broader society. Both institutions had failed me.
I meditated through the late 2000s sketching the body during long hours with nude models in the underground studios of my hometown, Tehran. That technical practice of observational figurative-drawing formed the core of my practice for the next decade. Meanwhile I began exercising my voice as a citizen seeking social justice. I felt unheard. My art became my activism.
I moved to North America in pursuit of equality. In New York State I explored the potential of sustainable design in making opportunities accessible to those currently disadvantaged by disabilities, aging, and gender inequality.
At the University of Alberta I studied the history of visual culture with a focus on Orientalist displays of Europe in the 19th century. I started questioning the old stereotypes, the oppressed Middle-Eastern woman in particular, and started seeing the bigger picture of interwoven systems of power and control all over “modern” society that persist the patriarchy. An innocent comment by a peer on my choice of clothing or hairstyle, a slip-of-the-tongue comment by a date you turned down. I realized that the oppression of the female body is not to be blamed on, and reduced to, the “Middle-Eastern man”.
My body was again the centre of attention. My art became an escape from the stereotyped Oriental woman subject of the Gaze. My art now is my therapy.​​​​​​​
My practice today is a reflection of a childhood of being put in a box, a youth not lived, spent arrested for speaking up, and exhausted by immigration. My art is my way to present my lived experience, and initiate a dialogue.
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