By Sanaz Haghani Nouri
UGA Graduate Student, Outside of Athens, GA
"I am a wave; never here, never there! I am still nowhere! Grabbing, dragging, then fleeing away, Watching me from far and wide, in your seized eye, I am a rebellious tidein an eternal glide. -Forough Farrokhzad1 My work reflects the women in my life. They are the waves along the shore, always there sometimes gentle, sometimes furious. I am from Iran, a country full of colors and poems; a country with a history layered with Gods and blood but it is also a country tough with the scars left by time, by a land where peace is fleeting. It is a place where the war, waged for thousands of years, leaves a taste as familiar as the tea we sip. I was born during the Islamic revolution in Iran and grew up during the eight-year war with Iraq. My childhood memories are full of contrast between different cultures from the Shah Regime and Islamic Regime. The mysterious veiled Muslim Iranian women that captured my attention since I was a little girl continue to flap around the edges of my mind. Going out with my mom and seeing these dark clothes everywhere, pressed in on me even then. I grew up playing with these forms in my subconscious. Maybe the idea behind my works is finding myself. When I say, myself, I mean discovering my concerns as both a human being and as a woman. I am trying to find a way to echo my concerns about the women I continue listen to from 7,000 miles away … and I wonder what I can learn from these women’s stories? I wanted to show the level of darkness in women's lives. I wanted to show how hard it is to be forced to hide all your emotions and beliefs, and how this can affect your life, causing you to live like a ghost, without spirit, being coerced and controlled. I tried to give these women a voice, to make a remarkable piece of work to explore the identity of women in relation to society. I addressed the theme of the alienation of women in repressed Muslim societies. My work focuses on women that changed their lives despite their limitations and their life situations that makes them unaware of their values as human being. I want to tell the story of their lives, to show my own vulnerability, my own female fragility and found the materials I needed to articulate my own story. I have been trying to find a way to show the oppressiveness I experienced in my life. I want to give my viewers my eyes, my heart, and my mind so they will know those pains and they will understand the darkness of those forces. Since I left my home there has been one constant – who I am – I am a wave."
What materials did you use to make your square?