Shirin Neshat Biography
Birthday: March 26, 1957 (Aries)
Born In: Qazvin
The political and religious upheaval that affected Iran in 1979 is best remembered for the taking of American hostages and the deposing of the Shah. Like most revolutions, however, the series of events that brought on the ayatollahs also planted cultural seeds that later pushed back against this seemingly unstoppable movement. The children and grandchildren of the insurgent Muslims who toppled a monarch are now making protests of their own. While they do not riot or take to the streets, as did their parents, they nevertheless register their discontent around the world through art and literature. One such dissident is Shirin Neshat, a renowned photographer and videographer. A native of Iran, Neshat came of age in the United States, where she was sent to finish her education. The revolution ignited while she was abroad, and prevented her from returning to her homeland. Having consolidated their power, the mullahs in charge of Iran began to enforce codes of behavior that restricted women to a greater degree than men. Responding to what she sees as a diminishing of the dignity of women in Iran, she produces works that counter such repression. Her art consistently aims to highlight the strength and nobility of women living in traditional Muslim societies.