Shirin Neshat: ‘Biggest uprising since Islamic revolution’

Shirin Neshat is an award-winning Iranian visual artist, whose works as a photographer and filmmaker have focused on women, identity, politics and Iran. She’s been living in exile in the United States since 1979. Her latest film, “Land of Dreams,” will be released in German theaters on November 3. It is a fictional story about an Iranian woman balancing her Iranian past and the American culture she was raised in. DW’s Andrea Kasiske spoke to Neshat about the current situation in Iran and her new film.

DW: The death of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini while under the custody of the morality police has triggered demonstrations and anger across the country. Especially from women. Did that surprise you?

Shirin Neshat (SN): The frustration and rage of the Iranian people have been brewing for a long time and the murder of Mahsa Amini unleashed this explosive anger. That’s why it’s not just about her death. It’s the culmination of all the frustration of women who have been forced to veil themselves for 43 years. It’s not just about the hijab as that’s just a symbol. It’s about how their lives have been affected living under a regime that sees them as second-class citizens, worth half as much as men, that treats them as if they just belong in the house and gives them very little power in public spheres.

There are many educated women and they realize that they do not have the same human rights as men. Even more so now that this government has gone so far as to murder a young woman just because she showed some hair…..