Hundreds of academics and artists across the globe supported the “feminist revolution in Iran” in a statement.
The authors of a statement signed by hundreds of academics, feminist activists, and artists, emphasize the need for a network of “transnational solidarity” with “women and marginalized bodies” in Iran.
In condemnation of the Iranian government’s murder of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini and in support of the nationwide protests that followed in Iran, the authors of this statement called the goal of the uprising of the Iranian people “the end of the theocratic regime” which “uses multifaceted violence against the marginalized bodies”.
Pointing to the prevailing silence of academics and activists around the world regarding these protests, they criticize two reductionist discourses regarding the issue of compulsory hijab in Iran:
On the one hand, the long history of colonial oppression intertwined with the recent rise in xenophobic, racist, and anti-gender discourses in the West has reduced multi-faceted issues, such as the hijab, to “cultural issues”. Particularly, it has hindered progressive voices in the Global North from taking a full stance of solidarity with the struggles of people in the Middle East and other Muslim-majority countries out of fear of feeding into the anti-gender ideologies in the West. On the other hand, a so-called progressive but neo-orientalist approach has ignored the fates and subjectivities of those not located in Western contexts, especially those from the MENA region. These frameworks have led to an epistemic and political dismissal of Iranian feminist and queer resistances. Their multi-layered oppression and struggles remain unrecognized, and they are rendered invisible unless they link their struggles to Western issues or see themselves through that neo-orientalist gaze.
Among the signatories of the letter are a number of prominent non-Iranian academic and artistic figures: Sara R. Farris, Michael Hardt, Claire Fontaine, Kathrin Peters, Lisa Duggan, Marina Morrow, Massimo Bricocoli, Mustafa Koc, Paula Chakravartty, Sruti Bala, Ulrike Bergermann and many others.
Also, prominent Iranian figures are present in this list, including: Haideh Moghissi, Frieda Afary, Leila Mendi, Farida Afari, Katrin Solhdju, Maryam Palizban, Shahram Khosravi, Gholam Khiabany, Mohammad Reza Nikfar, Kamran Matin and…
This letter has been signed by more than a thousand academics and artists and writers so far.
A wave of protests took place across Iran in the wake of the recent death of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, a 22-year old woman who died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police.
Several women’s rights groups and labor and civil rights organisations have called for protests against the government’s murder of Mahsa. Independent labour and civil rights organisations express that the murder of Mahsa is “the result of structural and systematic violence against women”.