Common Ground#768

WOMXN, LIFE, FREEDOM: Building Political Power Through Feminist Collective Work

Featuring Manijeh Moradian, Ozi Ozar, a member of Begoo Collective, and Morehshin Allahyari, with Rooja Mohassessy


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Feminists for Jina member Manijeh Moradian, Woman* Life Freedom Collective member Ozi Ozar, and a Begoo Collective member join artist Morehshin Allahyari for a conversation. We conclude with a reading by Rooja Mohassessy.

In this talk

WOMXN, LIFE, FREEDOM is an online event series for co-learning, co-growing, solidarity, and kinship with our Iranian siblings. We come together as artists, thinkers, and organizers,mainly in the diaspora, to share, amplify, and weave together a refusal of long-lasting cultural and political gender/sexual oppression in Iran. The ongoing “Woman, Life, Freedom” or Jina revolution was sparked by the killing of 22-year-old Kurdish Jina (Mahsa) Amini in the hands of the regime’s police on September 16, 2022. Ever since, Iran has experienced a nationwide uprising, primarily led by women and marginalized ethnic groups demanding an end to the current Islamic regime and the establishment of a society free of oppression, discrimination, and dictatorship. As our days unfold between hope in the power of the Iranian people’s resistance, and despair from unthinkable violence by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, how might we continue to participate and show solidarity, using “Woman, Life, Freedom is a daily practice” as our mantra? The series explores this question by providing a platform for growth and support through practice-based conversations.

In Pt. I, Building Political Power Through Feminist Collective Work, Iranian artists, scholars, and organizers, each representing a feminist collective or network, will come together for a conversation moderated by series organizer and artist Morehshin Allahyari. Grassroots feminist collectives are some of many collective groups formed since the killing of Jina (Mahsa) Amini in September 2022. Collective action is usually construed as a tool wielded to affect political and societal change. This panel will explore the goals, work ethics, process, and trial- and-error innate to establishing a collective group, and will make a case for how we can build power through feminist collective work.

  ترجمه فارسی این برنامه پس از برگزاری در سایت قرار خواهد گرفت.

Feminists for Jina

A black-and-white illustration of a woman shouting, holding her hands around her mouth to maximize the volume of her voice. Below in writing it reads Feminists for Jina
Feminists for Jina is a network of feminist collectives and activists from different cities around the world, with diverse lived and learned experiences and viewpoints, united to echo and reinforce the voice of the ongoing “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” Revolution of Iran and to strengthen its transnational elements. Since the beginning of the revolution in Iran, the slogan, “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” has brought those of us in the diaspora together and Jina has become the symbol of our fight. The revolution has strengthened our determination to unite in order to achieve our goal of equality and freedom, and to fight alongside the people inside Iran and other feminist liberation movements for making a better world.

Begoo Collective

An orange background and scripted text made to look like a flame.
A collective of Iranian feminists inside and outside of Iran, Begoo Collective is invested in cultivating a transnational dialogue, particularly among the people of the Global South, in solidarity with the uprising of the Iranian people, especially Womxn, the LGBTQ+, and all marginalized communities. Centering JIN JÎYAN AZADÎ (Woman, Life, Freedom) and in a fight against systemic historical erasure, through a feminist, anti-colonial, and transnational lens, Begoo Collective strives to amplify the Iranian people’s acts of bravery and resistance, and to archive the violence and the oppression their bodies continue to endure.

Woman* Life Freedom Collective

White text reading "Woman* Life Freedom Transnational Collective WLINTA on a dark purple background
The mission of Woman Life Freedom Collective* is to support the resistance in Iran and forge and fortify transnational unity and solidarity beyond group-based political identities and national borders. We aim to respect, echo, and protect the struggle and resistance of people in Iran and call inflicted upon in all groups to do the same. We invite everyone to set aside the differences and demands only to chant in unison the political demands of this moment and this generation: Woman* Life Freedom.

Morehshin Allahyari

Black and white photo of Morehshin Allahyari
Morehshin Allahyari (Persian: موره شین اللهیاری‎), is a NY based Iranian-Kurdish artist using 3D simulation, video, sculpture, and digital fabrication as tools to re-figure myth and history. Through archival practices and storytelling, her work weaves together complex counternarratives in opposition to the lasting influence of Western technological colonialism in the context of SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa). Her work has been part of numerous exhibitions, festivals, and workshops at venues throughout the world, including the MoMa, Centre Pompidou, and Venice Biennale di Architecture, and many others. She is the recipient of The United States Artist Fellowship (2021) and The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2019), among other recognitions.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Rooja Mohassessy reading.

Rooja Mohassessy

A photo of Rooja Mohassessy
Rooja Mohassessy is an Iranian-born poet and educator. She is a 2022 MacDowell Fellow and a graduate of the Pacific University MFA program in Oregon. Her debut collection When Your Sky Runs Into Mine was the winner of the 22nd Annual Elixir Poetry Award and is available for preorder now with the release date of February 2023. Her poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, Poet Lore, RHINO Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, CALYX Journal, Ninth Letter, Cream City Review, The Adroit Journal, New Letters, The Florida Review, Poetry Northwest, The Pinch, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.