Deciphering Violence and Resistance

This is Not a Poem
Fatemeh Shams
Dec 6, 2023 (All Day) | The Ohio State University
Urban Arts Space Gallery

Photo of Fatemeh Shams Art On Display At Exhibition

Iran: Deciphering Violence and Resistance is a curated interdisciplinary exhibition featuring 10 artists and activists of varied disciplines living in and away from Iran. Through painting, poetry, photography, video, film, animation, installation, and music, this exhibition provides an arrangement of the featured artists' associative and real perspectives on the Iranian identity in its complex experience with systematic violence, institutionalized misogyny, gendered and ethnic marginalization, forceful migration, and exile, with a reflection on the very limits of language in articulating the conditions of collective traumas.

This exhibition also includes a growing and traveling collection of numerous posters designed by over 48 artists. Many of these artists were introduced by Iranian Women of Graphic Design. The traveling journey of this collection began from "Halle Saint Pierre" in Paris, with the support of OPEN ASIA | Armanshahr Foundation40 Braids, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), during March 2023. The collection continued its journey to Sarajevo as part of the WARM festival in July 2023.

NELC's Fatemeh Shams, together with her former MFA student, Illya Mousavijad, contributed a piece called "This is Not a Poem." In her own words, Fatemeh explains that this poetry installation "deals with the challenges of documenting violence in the poetic form. In a section of the poem, the words are hung up from the wall (a common torture method tried on political prisoners in Iran prisons) and the installation is based on that part of the poem. The idea of fragmentation in documenting traumatic events is ... central to this work." To hear Fatemeh recite the poem in English, please visit here.