Art in Exile: Shirin Neshat at TEDWomen 2010

 

"Oddly enough, an artist such as myself finds herself also in the position of being the voice, the speaker of my people, even if I have, indeed, no access to my own country. Also, people like myself, we're fighting two battles on different grounds. We're being critical of the West, the perception of the West about our identity -- about the image that is constructed about us, about our women, about our politics, about our religion. We are there to take pride and insist on respect. And at the same time, we're fighting another battle. That is our regime, our government -- our atrocious government, [that] has done every crime in order to stay in power. Our artists are at risk. We are in a position of danger. We pose a threat to the order of the government.

But ironically, this situation has empowered all of us, because we are considered, as artists, central to the cultural, political, social discourse in Iran. We are there to inspire, to provoke, to mobilize, to bring hope to our people. We are the reporters of our people, and are communicators to the outside world. Art is our weapon. Culture is a form of resistance..."

https://www.ted.com/talks/shirin_neshat_art_in_exile/transcript#t-66349