Hoda Afshar C e Se L Lorenz Seidler 23

Hoda Afshar, Iran Women, 2022 © MuseumsQuartier Wien, Foto: Lorenz Seidler – eSeL

Woman Life Freedom

Editor's note. For this contribution, we have put the Iranian artist Hoda Afshar (based in Naarm/Melbourne) and the Iranian poet Haleh Chinikar (based in Brussels) together. Afshar collected images of Iranian women street protestors and re-appropriated them for a six-part photo installation that was presented in the public space on the forecourt of the MuseumsQuartier Wien. Chinikar’s poem Your Name Will Become Our Code was specifically written for our printed issue Trigger #4: Together (more info below this contribution) in relation to these images.

Hoda Afshar and Haleh Chinikar

14 dec. 2022 • 5 min
Hoda Afshar C e Se L Lorenz Seidler 13

Artist statement

On 16 September, 2022, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, died in police custody in Iran after having been arrested for improperly covering her hair. The suspicious circumstances of Amini’s death and the failure of the authorities to assume responsibility sparked a wave of protests across the country—an uprising for women’s rights and led by women.

The government quickly tried to suppress the protests by shutting down all internet access and by responding to the nation-wide movement with yet more violence and arrests (as of today several hundred are estimated dead, and countless others have been imprisoned or are missing). But images of Iranians’ heroic struggle against the authorities have streamed out through social media and other channels.

These are some of them.

Since the beginning of this movement, Iranians inside and outside the country have been determined not to stop sharing such images, for they are our only weapon, and they embody our message: we stand together, against violence, and for women, life and freedom.

Hoda Afshar, in October 2022

Pic 1

Your Name Will Become Our Code

looking at the numbers,
at the names.
chanting all together:


together, we are stronger.
together, we are stronger.

Woman, Life, Freedom
Woman, Life, Freedom

bodies trembling.
bodies trembling.
it is my soul, my city.
it is my soul
who trembles,
every day
every day
every day

cities that tremble.
bodies that tremble.

they say: those things are always happening over there.
and I ask myself, where is over there? where is over there that is not here?

Pic 2

why is the value of our lives not the same over here and over there?
who once drew a line?
a line that divided our bodies and those of others, our lives and those of others.

Woman, Life, Freedom
Woman, Life, Freedom
Woman, Life, Freedom

between a city and its people; how far is the distance?
cities that do not tremble; what color are they?
those cities?
what color are they?
and people who do not tremble? their souls
their dear souls
those souls.
what color are they?
oh, those dear souls.

the souls that tremble,
those dear souls
those dear souls
houses without
a roof
a gate
a wall.

be merciful

in lonely alleys,
bottom of empty streets full of ashes.


how many more?

Pic 3

those dear souls
tortured, tortured
bodies, bodies,
those bodies.

how do these people tremble?
how do we tremble?
a city,
how does a city tremble?
how do the people of a country tremble?
to how many,
how many,
Richter scale?
are they shaking?
a land is shaking?
it’s a land
a land
it becomes ashes
you put it on ashes
with those filthy hands of yours
how do the people of a city tremble? their lives?
my city
those souls
those dear souls
Oh, those dearest lives
far, far, far, far . . .

and those names?
those names,
names to be always remembered:

Mahsa/Jina Amini, Arnika Ghaenmaghami, Arash Pahlevan, Arman Hassanizaei, Ebrahim Gorgij, Abolfazl Akbaridoust, Abolfazl Mehdipour, Aboubakr Alizahi, Ahmad Sargolzaei, Ahmad Shebakhsh, Esmaeel Abil, Esmaeel Sinzehi, Eghbal Shahnavazi, Amirhamze Shahnavazi, Amir Fouladi, Amir Mehdi Fakhripour, Amir Norouzi, Amirhossein Basati, Amirhossein Mirkazehi rigi, Amn Gelebacheh, Amin Marefat, Balal Anshini, Balal Mohammad Anshini, Balal Mohammad Alizahi, Behnal Layeghpour, Parsa Rezadoust, Pedram Azarnoush, Pouya Sheida, Peyman Manbari, Jalil Rakhshani, Jalil Mohammadzehi, Javad Toucheh, Javad Heidari, Hadid Najafi, Hananeh Kia, Hossein Mohammadi, Hossein Ali Kia, Hamzeh Naroueei, Hamid Isazehi, Hamid Fouladvand, Hamid Naroueei, Khodanour Lajaeei, Danesh Rahnama, Dariush Ali Zadeh, Zolfaghar Jan Hassan zeei, Rafe Naroueei, Reza Shahpar nia, Reza Lotfi, Rouzbeh Khademi, Roshana Ahmani, Zakaria Khial, Sarina Esmaeelzadeh, Sasan Ghrobani, Samer Hashemzehi, Sedis Keshani, Saeed Iranmanesh, Saeed Mohammadi, Soleiman Arab, Sina Mousavi, Abbass Mirmoussavi, Sadraldin Litani, Salahedin Gomshadzehi, Samad Shahouzeei, Samad Barginia, Abdolrahman Balouchikhah, Abdolsamad Sabetizadeh, Abdolghafour Dehmordeh, Abdolghafour Nourbarahoueei, Abdolsalam Golvani, Abdolah Mohhamadpour, Abdolmalek Shahbakhsh, Erfan Khazaeei, Erfan Rezaeei, Erfan Zarbeygi, Ali asghar Godbeyglou, Ali Akbar Halghe begoush, Ali Agheli, Ali Mozaffari, Alireza Fathi, Alireza Hosseini, Pmar Shahnavazi, Omran Hasssanzehi, Omran Shahbakhsh, Ghazaleh Chalaki, Foad Ghadimi, Farjad Darwishi, Fardin Bakhtiari, Farzad Shahbakhsh, Farzin Lotfi, Fereydoun Mahmoudi, Maziar Salmanian, Mohammad Hassan Torkaman, Minou Majidi, Mahodin Shirouzehi, Matin Abdolahpour, Mohsen Gheysari, Mohsen Gomshadzehi, Mohsen Pazouki, Mohsen Malmir, Mohsen Mohammadi, MohammadEghbal Nayebzehi, MohammadAmin Gomshadzehi, Mohammad Barahoueei, Mohammad Javad Farmani, Mohammad Hosseinkhah, Mohammad Reygi,Mohammad Sedigh Naroueei,Mohammad Ali Gomshadzehi, Mohammad Farough Rakhsh, Mohammad Ghalajehi, MohammadRassoul Momenizadeh, Mohammad reza Eskandari, Mahmoud Barahoueei, MahmoudHassan Zeei, Mokhtar Ahmadi, Morteza Zeei, Morteza Hassanzeei, Morteza Norouzi, Mansour Rakhshani, Mehdi Fallah, Mehdi Babrnejad, Mehdi Asgari, Mehdi Leylazi, Mehdi Moussavi, Mehrab Najafi, Mehrdad Behnam Asl, Mehrdada Gorbani, Mehrzad Avazpour, Mahsa Moghoeei, Milad Zare, Milan Haghighi, Aminollah Ghaljaeei, Nematolah Kabdaeei, Nika Shahkarami, Vahid Hout, Hajar Abassin Hedyeh Naeeimani, Yaser Jafari, Yaser Shahbakhsh, Yasin Jamalzadeh, Younes Naroueei, Mohammadreza Adibtoutazehi, Haminreza Saneei, Siavash Mahmoudi, Hessein Moravati, Mousa Anshini, MohammadAmin Takali, Nima Shafighdoust, Najomodin Tajik, Emad Heydari, Mohammadreza Sorouri, Mokhtar Ahmadi, Abdolsamade Barahoueei, Ehsan Khanmohammadi, Mohammad Amini, Peyman Mambari, Dariush Alizadeh, Yahya Rahimi, Abolfazl Adinehzadeh, Kamal Faghahi, Aziz Moradi, Sina NAderi, Armin Sayadi, Nadia Erfani, Mohsen Mousavi, Abosalam Ghadergolvan, Mohammad Derakhshani, Ramin Fatehi, Negin Abdoldmalaki, Fereshteh Ahmadi, Shahou Khazri, Zanyar Aboubakri, Kobra Sheikhesagha, Esmaeel Moloudi, Mehrshad Shahidi, Hadi Haghshenas, Maedeh Javanfar, Freydoun Faraji, Matlab Saeeipeyro, Mohammad Shariati, Reza Esmaelzadeh, Sarina Saedi, Ali Seyedi, Masoud Ahmadzadeh, Afshin Arsham, Rasoul Mohammadagha, Mahmoud Keshvari, Omid khoub, Zahra Esmaeili, Alireza Soraydaran, Bahar Azadshiri…

Jina, your name will become our code.
Woman, Life, Freedom

This article was commissioned by Trigger in the context of its upcoming printed issue Trigger #4: Together – to be published in February 2023. This issue is guest-edited by Susan Meiselas and explores collaborative practices in photography and beyond. Sixteen contributions engage with strategies of co-creation that stretch notions of authorship and ownership, breaking through existing heteronormative, state-owned, or hyper-individual categories.

Hoda Afshar was born in Tehran, Iran, and is now based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia. Through her art practice and research, she explores the nature and possibilities of documentary image-making. Working across photography and moving image, she considers the representation of gender, marginality, and displacement. Afshar employs processes that disrupt traditional image-making practices, play with the presentation of imagery, and merge aspects of conceptual, staged, and documentary photography. In 2021, her first monograph, Speak the Wind, was published by MACK in London. The same year, she won the people’s choice award of the Ramsay Art Prize (Art Gallery of South Australia) and received the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship for outstanding talent and exceptional courage.

Haleh Chinikar is an artist and poet born in Rasht, Iran, and living in Brussels since 2007. The body, memory, language, and textiles are the pillars of her creations. Her recent works, installations, and performances contribute to the same experience shared with the public. In November 2021, her poetry book, est ma maison?, was published by Éditions la place. She’s co-founder and an active member of M-A, a Brussels-based collective of Iranian women artists that aims to raise awareness by means of performance art of the nationwide protests that have engulfed Iran following the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa (Jina) Amini at the hands of the morality police on 16 September 2022.

  • Together
  • Artist contribution