KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ME

© 2018 by ROYA EBTEHAJ

Artist Statement

Moving forward with the wave of five million people chanting for democracy, the image of the crowd I was marching with felt blurry in my eyes; yet the ambient sounds were dramatically amplifying. I was hearing the voices of people shouting: “where is my vote?”—ambulance sirens reverberating and helicopters approaching from above. Even today after nine years, I still think of how lucky I am to have not been arrested or shot during those peaceful protests leading to violent endings. My life has been affected dramatically by this event and its aftermath. I still carry unresolved issues from what I have dealt with throughout the Green Movement regardless of whether I am in Iran or anywhere else.

 

By virtue of remembering these traumatic, real-life events I aim to bring a historical and socio-political vision to the contemporary discourse. The theme of my exhibition, titled “Green Hope”, is based upon the revolutionary protests in Iran which occurred after the 2009 presidential election. The Green Movement was the first vast public opposition of the Iranian people against the government. It resulted in numerous cases of innocent deaths, arrests and media censorship.

This body of work is a poetic effort to reflect on the edge of external destruction and internal creation. “Green Hope” contextualizes three episodes in the evolution of the Green Movement: Calm Before the Storm addresses events before any violent surges, The Eye of the Storm describes the extreme violent stage, and Brighter Days Ahead represents the post-green movement era.

 

By analyzing the undeniable impact this movement has had on many people’s lives, this exhibition focuses on a tragic moment in contemporary Iranian history. The social contradiction and civil disobedience in Iran is a part of daily life. This revolutionary movement was a turning point. My art is a form of protest and a way to spread my message: the Green Movement is still evolving and a celebration of freedom is around the corner.