Artists together with Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker and Marina Abramović have signed an open letter in solidarity with protestors in Iran following the demise of Mahsa Amini in September. The letter, launched by an nameless group, reads partly: “We, artists, writers, teachers and cultural practitioners from throughout disciplines and numerous international locations, assist the decision of our Iranian colleagues to face in solidarity with their wrestle towards the repressive and despotic Islamic state in Iran.”
Different artists and curators who’ve signed as much as the assertion embody Kara Walker, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Nari Ward, Arthur Jafa, Hans Haacke and Robert Storr who tells us: “Sure, I did signal it and would gladly accomplish that once more if there’s any doubt.” The letter asks the worldwide group to “boycott governmental establishments of the Islamic state of Iran and their covert associates and forestall them from having any presence in worldwide arenas of arts, tradition and training”, amongst different calls for.
The signatories additionally “assist our counterparts and collaborators who stand towards the atrocities and abuses of human rights in Iran, utilizing our mental and cultural leverage and capabilities”. Different figures endorsing the open letter embody the artists Barbara Kruger, Amy Sillman and Eyal Weizman (of Forensic Structure).
Often called the “Lady, Life, Liberty” motion, the protests in Iran started on 16 September after Amini died in custody following accusations of breaching Iran’s modesty guidelines. Though the authorities have imprisoned protestors, the demonstrations have continued to develop, particularly amongst college students and younger folks.
The artist Shirin Neshat in the meantime continues to publish protest statements on her Instagram feed. Earlier this week she posted: “We get up to the horrific information that the 23-year-old protestor Mohsen Shekari has been executed. Our hearts bleed, we’re at rage with this fascist regime for essentially the most merciless act of conflict towards the folks of Iran.” Shekari was hanged 8 December after being discovered responsible by a Revolutionary Court docket of getting dedicated “moharebeh” (enmity towards God), state media reported.
In line with the London-based curator Vali Mahlouji, scores of artists and photographers are amongst these incarcerated for the reason that protests started and the quantity is rising. “Our primary humanitarian focus is to mount worldwide stress on the regime to halt additional executions of protesters,” he says.
Demonstrations in solidarity with the continued protest motion in Iran have been staged at museums throughout the US, together with on the Los Angeles County Museum of Artwork, SFMOMA, the Guggenheim Museum and, most just lately, the Metropolitan Museum.