Ten Women of Shiraz, an exhibition in honour of the 10 women of Shiraz who were executed for their beliefs in 1983, is currently on display at the Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre.
The exhibition consists of a textile artwork made of hand-crocheted pieces, knitted squares, and painted tapestries that has been created through a process of thoughtful making, collection and collaboration by project lead and local artist Hoveida Saberi and more than 30 local, interstate and international contributors.
On 18 June 1983, ten Baha’i women were executed in a square in Shiraz, Iran after months of torture and imprisonment. Their crime was their belief in a faith that promoted gender equality, which was absent and criminalised in Iran.
“I would like to share a story with you and invite you to participate in an art project in honour of the 10 women of Shiraz who were martyred 40 years ago,” Ms Saberi said.
Hoveida’s Aunt Simin was one of the 10 women executed at just 24 years of age.
“Creating this artwork has been an emotional process. It has allowed me to share the story of my Aunt Simin and the nine other women with colleagues, friends, and others in my community,” Ms Saberi said.
The exhibition features textile work by Hoveida, her family and other contributors, including her Canadian-based mother Zarrindokht Rowshan. Accompanying the textile work is a moving poem by Hoveida’s daughter Parisa Rowhani-Farid set to visuals by Mona Gaffari and An Tebyanyan.
“I have also had the opportunity to pass on the art of crochet, a skill I learnt from my mother many years ago,” Ms Saberi said.
“The timing of this project has been emotional when considering the similar human suffering that is happening in different parts of the world.”
Ten Women of Shiraz has been created in response to a global campaign launched by the Baha’I International Community entitled #OurStoryIsOne. The campaign calls for creative contributions from people around the world to honour the ten women of Shiraz who were executed for their beliefs. #OurStoryIsOne is a celebration of the resilience of Iranian women of all faiths and backgrounds within a system of discord and oppression.
“I extend my sincere gratitude to all who contributed to the project and accompanied me on this journey,” Ms Saberi said.
The exhibition is currently on show in Southlink at the Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre until Sunday 5 November 2023. The centre is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm weekdays and 10:00am to 2:00pm weekends and most public holidays. Entry is free.
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