Iranian artists Sheida Soleimani, Aphrodite Désirée Navab, Z, Icy and Sot, Shirin Neshat, Mahvash Mostala, Sepideh Mehraban, and Shirin Towfiq, alongside artists Hank Willis Thomas and JR, activate New York’s FDR Four Freedoms State Park with a provocative multi-day and multi-media art installation facing the United Nations entitled Eyes on Iran, November 28th, 2022 – January 1st, 2023.
Timed for the U.N. initiative, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the installations are focused on the power of collective sight, with eyes facing the UN, signifying the world’s eyes on Iran. ‘Eyes in the Sky’ flying billboards featuring artworks by Thomas and Mostala will fly on December 3rd in New York City and on November 28th and 30th in Miami. An interactive installation by artist JR will take place on December 4th. Eyes on Iran aims to amplify the mission of Woman, Life, Freedom, a campaign demanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran is removed from the Commission on the Status of Women.
The New York installation was unveiled at an event featuring former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Human Rights Lawyer and director of the Strategic Litigation Project at the Atlantic Council Gissou Nia, artists Sheida Soleimani and Shirin Neshat, actor and singer Sepideh Moafi and more at FDR Four Freedoms State Park with a performance by Grammy award-winner Jon Batiste.
We are calling on the world to take more action, starting at the United Nations. We must remove Iran from the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women. The fact that Iran is a member is a bitter irony
says Hillary Clinton.
What we are seeing is a revolution led by young women who are just not willing to live with the loss of freedom being imposed upon them.
November 28th is significant because it is the anniversary of the 1943 Tehran Conference where Allied leaders, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin met in Tehran to coordinate the Allied military strategy and also stated a shared desire for the maintenance of the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Iran. Today, Woman, Life, Freedom shares the call for human rights for the people of Iran.
“The world’s eyes have been focused on the courage of Iranian citizens in their quest for freedom, in the face of increasingly grave danger,”
said human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam Mackay.
The Islamic Republic has censored them and attempted to blind the world to the potential of this movement. Eyes on Iran is our response to their call for a free Iran.
An interactive installation by artist JR will take place on December 4th at FDR Four Freedoms State Park. Eyes on Iran aims to amplify the mission of Woman, Life, Freedom, a campaign demanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran is removed from the Commission on the Status of Women. Additional artists featured online including Emily Elise, Mahdis Nikou, Priscillia Kounkou Hoveydam, Ernesto Yerena, Hourdad, Golnar Adili, and Anonymous Artists.
When we say that we must keep our “Eyes on Iran,” we mean that what is happening deserves not only our attention but our vision. In solidarity with the courageous Iranians who are risking their lives to express their human rights, many artists throughout the diaspora and beyond are bringing our vision to bear to ensure international audiences and institutions remain aware of what is happening in Iran, in their eyes and in their hearts, and feel moved to respond.says artist Shirin Neshat.
In October, the campaign published a two-page ad in The New York Times with a petition signed by women leaders from more than 14 countries, including Clinton, demanding the U.N. Member States remove the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women. Within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly along with nearly 100,000 others signed the petition.
New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said,
“Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park reminds us that the human freedoms voiced by President Roosevelt in 1941 remain vital and relevant today. We are proud to host the “Eyes on Iran” public art installation at the park, and help draw attention to the continued struggle for equal rights across the globe.”
The Woman, Life, Freedom campaign is a partnership between artist collective For Freedoms, a coalition of Iranian women leaders and Vital Voices Global Partnership, a non-profit elevating women leaders.