Artists unfurled red banners from the Guggenheim rotunda in support of the Iranian women’s protest movement

An artist collective staged a protest at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum over the weekend, dramatically unfurling a dozen blood-red banners from the top floor of the building’s famous rotunda to draw attention to the protests ongoing in Iran against its unpopular compulsory hijab law.

“This tribute is a call to action in support of the current revolution in Iran, led by brave Iranian women risking their lives to stand up against oppression and overthrow a long-standing authoritarian regime,” the group said. the Collective of Anonymous Artists for Iran. A declaration.

On September 16, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, known as Jina or Zhina, died in Iran in suspicious circumstances after being arrested by Tehran’s “morals police” for improperly wearing her headscarf. (Iranian women have been required to wear a hijab covering their hair in public since the 1979 Iranian revolution.)

According to eyewitness accounts, Amini died as a result of police brutality. Her death sparked widespread protests led by women across the country, followed by government action against internet access and mobile phone services. Authorities are believed to have killed at least 200 people so far.

The Artists’ Collective for Iran unfurled banners in the rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in support of women-led protests in Iran. Photo courtesy of Anonymous Artists Collective for Iran.

The Guggenheim action was designed to raise awareness in the art world of the protest movement and its fight for women’s human rights and freedom.

“The Iranian people are daily subjected to horrific violence and brutality,” the collective said. “With restricted internet access and minimal Western media coverage, it’s time to see and hear them as they shed light on their fearless fight against a totalitarian system.”

The Artists' Collective for Iran unfurled banners in the rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in support of women-led protests in Iran.  Photo courtesy of Anonymous Artists Collective for Iran.

The Artists’ Collective for Iran unfurled banners in the rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in support of women-led protests in Iran. Photo courtesy of Anonymous Artists Collective for Iran.

Zan zendegui azadI! Woman, life, freedom! This Kurdish chant has become a rallying manifesto, shouted around the world in Kurdish, Persian, English and dozens of other languages,” the group added. “The movement started in Jina’s hometown and has since spread like wildfire across the country and beyond. This is now a global call for us to leapfrog towards gender equality and universal liberation.

The group’s demonstration is not the first time anonymous artists have made a dramatic statement in support of the Iranian protest movement. Earlier this month, an anonymous artist was believed to be responsible for coloring several public fountains in Tehran bright red. The Twitter account @1500tasvir said the Crimson Pools was a work of art with a Persian title that translates to “Tehran Flowing in Blood”.

A swimming pool dyed red outside the Artists' Forum at Honarmandan Park in Iran's capital Tehran, reportedly during an anonymous protest by artists in response to the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.  Photo by AFP via Getty Images.

A swimming pool dyed red outside the Artists’ Forum at Honarmandan Park in Iran’s capital Tehran, reportedly during an anonymous protest by artists in response to the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. Photo by AFP via Getty Images.

“Unfortunately, over the past 40 years, [Iran’s progressive movement hasn’t] been able to create political groups capable of standing up to the government”, Pamela Karimi, author of Alternative Iran: Contemporary Art and Critical Spatial Practicesay it Washington Post. “Because of this, art has become a tool in people’s hands to communicate their dissatisfaction with the system.”

Saturday’s action at the Guggenheim coincided with large-scale protests around the world in solidarity with Iranian women, including demonstrations in Los Angeles, Berlin and Washington, D.C.

The 12 banners displayed at the Guggenheim featured a black stenciled portrait of Amini accompanied by the slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in original Kurdish.

“Mahsa will never be forgotten and the cruel injustice done to Iranian women can no longer be ignored,” said the Artists Collective for Iran Anonymous. “Their fight for freedom is our whole fight.”

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