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Iranian Voices – Music & Art

On February 18th at 3pm, organizers Manizheh Darestani, Behak Rueentan, Ana Claudia Pitol, and Mariana Castro Carvajal are bringing performance and fine art inspired by the Iranian Revolution to Eastern Edge Gallery.

Date: February 18, 2023
Time: 3:00pm NST
Location: Eastern Edge Gallery, 72 Harbour Drive, St. John’s, NL

Statement from the organizers:

Iranian Voices will be an artistic expression of solidarity with Iranians’ fight for freedom, justice, and equality. The event will include musical performances (choral and solo), paintings, and fiber art pieces. This one-day event will chronicle the historical events in Iran and the reactions and feelings of artists about them. The exhibit will serve not just as a presentation of art but also as a space for the Iranian community in St. John’s to gather, reflect, and heal through art.

On September 16, 2022, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman died after being severely beaten in the head by the Iranian regime’s “morality police” and slipping into a coma. Her name was Mahsa Zhina Amini. Since Mahsa passed away, women inside Iran awakened a full revolution throughout all the provinces and soon called for international action.

The St. John’s artistic community has supported the Iranian community as best as possible. Under the leadership of Manizheh Darestani, we reached out for support to Ana Luisa Ramos, Jing Xia, Chanel Rolle, and Cristina Hernandez. We partnered with textile artist Behak Rueentan, With this stellar group of artists, we want to create an exhibition that calls audiences into reflection and productive support of women’s rights in Iran and worldwide.

The main exhibition will consist of original pieces done by visual artists. The art pieces will contain symbols, narratives, and images centered on the personal experience of this revolution against the Islamic Republic’s regime. Through them, we hope that audiences can learn and understand the struggle of hundreds of people and listen to the voices of those who have been silenced.

The event will also have a performance component. We will perform songs that have made a significant impact during the Iranian revolution:

Bella Ciao (in several languages): was the first call to action
Baraye (written by Shervin Hajipour): song made out of tweets from protestors that explained what they were fighting for
Bar Pa Khiz (Chilean protest song): this song was used by the Tehran School of Music to protest peacefully
Woman (written by Cristina Hernandez): a collaborative piece with all the artist’s voices with lyrics inspired by the movement

This event will join musicians and visual artists together with the clear purpose of bringing awareness and compassion to a human rights crisis. Our vision is local as it is global. We want audiences to know that despite injustice and peril, Art will always be a tool to fight, to tell everybody’s stories, and to heal.