Index 19: Screening and Talk with Azadeh Fatehrad : The Feminist Historiography

15 June 2016, 19:00

Weltkulturen Laboratory, 2013. Courtesy of the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt am Main

Women’s Voice (Zaban-e-Zanan), Single Channel Video

The emergence of women in the public sphere in Iran is tied to the formation and growth of women’s associations and publications over a period of 20 years, approximately from 1910 to 1932. This was the achievement of few elites and pioneers who passionately started to work for women’s education as well as playing an active part in the Iranian society. Zaban-e-Zanan (Women’s Voice, 1918) by Sadighe Dowlatabadi, was the first publication that was written by woman about women and for women’s interests. For many, Dowlatabadi is considered ‘the first founding mother of Iranian feminist movement’, who with a few others challenged the social and religious order, setting into motion the wheels of female activism. The single channel video Women’ Voice (Zaban-e-Zanan) by Azadeh Fatehrad looks through archival material of Sadighe Dowlatabadi at the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam. The video highlights successes that Dowlatabadi has achieved for the feminist movement of Iran in early 20th century and also connects the relevance of this archival material to the contemporary context of women’s life in post-revolutionary Iran.

The event is part of The Feminist Historiography program, organized by Azadeh Fatehrad with IASPIS – the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Artists. The program is conceived as a platform to reflect on the importance of community practices for the feminist movements and the use of archives in articulating a feminist history. The program starts with a seminar on Monday, 13 June 2016, 14:00–18:00 at IASPIS, Maria skolgata 83, Stockholm, with Athena Farrokhzad, Petra Bauer and Sisters of Jam. The seminar will finish with a performance piece by Azadeh Fatehrad.

Azadeh Fatehrad (b.1981, Tehran) is an artist and researcher currently based at the Photography Programme of the Royal College of Art, London. Her research engages with the feminist history of Iran from 1909 to the present. Her projects explore still and moving image archives investigating the ways in which the feminist movement has been expanded among urban middle class women in her home country of Iran. As part of her research, Fatehrad has curated a series of public programs, symposiums and exhibitions, including the recent exhibition Hengameh Golestan: Witness 1979 at The SHOWROOM London, as well as Iran’s Women’s Movement at Framer Framed, Amsterdam. She has presented academic papers at a variety of conferences and symposiums, such as “The Feminist Movement in Twentieth-Century Iran” at the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam; “Poetic and Politic: Re-Reading of Iranian History after 1979 Revolution” at Delfina Foundation, London; “Moving Pictures and Photoplays:
New Perspectives in Silent Cinema” at the University of York; and “Challenging Gender, Embracing Intersectionality” at Kingston University, London. Fatehrad has exhibited her work internationally in London, Vancouver, New York and Tehran.