While I’ve lived so many years of my adult life in diaspora, I still haven’t broken free from the challenges and expectations imposed by my earlier culture. As an artist, I make work that investigates the identity of women living under oppression. My paintings from the “Tug of War” series are in response to the complex, social and political events happening in my native country of Iran. Within these intimate works, silhouettes of abstracted figures partaking in violent acts accompany loosely painted floral settings. Fabricated from imagination, I retell stories of racial discrimination and gender inequality in the hopes to amplify the voice of those less fortunate.
Today, Iran has a new generation of brave women who have empowered themselves to look beyond the multiple layers of oppression. They’re no longer compliant and we can see the urgency for freedom in their faces. Waving their powerful fists in the air tells us more about their desires than their actual identities ever could. The world finally sees and hears them, as they fight the evils of patriarchy. I stand with them in solidarity.
- Roya Farassat