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Because of – Using protest art as a form of resistance in Iran

source: Saman Aboutalebi

9 - 10 June 2023

Artists inside and outside Iran have produced many protest artworks, such as short films, animations, video art, and performance focusing on Iran's protests in the past seven months. There are a number of issues represented in these works, including the ignorance of women and queer people’s rights, widespread and systematic corruption in government, the violent suppression of protesters, rampant economic inflation, disregard for the general interests of the people, children's rights, the rights of refugees, environmental concerns, recession and poverty, theocracy, outdated social and religious taboos, and dissatisfaction with the regime’s foreign policy. A number of these issues are addressed in Shervin Hajipour's song entitled “Baraye” (Persian: برای, meaning "For" or "Because of"). This song explains well why the Iranian people have revolted against the Islamic regime.

Because of is a mixed event that aims to promote the values ​​of human rights and bring attention to the demands of women and minorities in Middle East countries. It will introduce the nature of protest art in Iran and its role in the continuation of popular demands and the challenges ahead in peaceful struggles. It will be held on 9 and 10 June 2023 at Wolf Kino. As part of the event, there will be screenings of short fiction, documentary, animation, experimental films, and video art that deal with issues such as women's and queer rights, critiques of social and religious taboos, oppression of protesters, the humiliation of immigrants, and environmental concerns. There will also be panels on various topics about protest art, protest culture, and feminist cinema.

The event is funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin and supported and hosted by the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences (BAS) of the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin) at Wolf Kino Berlin.


Concept and Organization: Dr. Hamed Soleimanzadeh
Concept and Organization of Screenings: Arezoo Salehi/ Saman Aboutalebi
Graphic & Motion Designer: Saman Aboutalebi
Trailer Source: Saman Aboutalebi/ Isabela Brock
Advisory Board: Prof. Dr. Kathrin Peters
Media Partner: Ekrun Tribun/ Voice of America


Full event and screening program 
Event poster


Event Program

Friday, 9 June 2023
16:00 - 16:30 Opening & Welcome
  Prof. Dr. Kathrin Peters, Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin)
  Dr. Hamed Soleimanzadeh, Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin)

16:30 - 18:00 Screening
  Split Ends (2022, 14:15) by Alireza Kazemipour
  It’s a Gray, Gray World (2022, 6:12) by Seyed Mohsen Pourmohseni Shakib
  Be My Voice (2022, 5:13) by Mehdi Razi
  Blogger (2021, 15:00) by Saber Tatarche
  Zhina (2022, 1:27) by Arezoo Salehi
  Corruption on Earth (2022, 11:37) by Omid Mirnour
  Maryam Joon (2017, 10:30) by Bita Ghassemi
  Zhen Zhian Azadi (2022, 3:23) by Hemen Bajelani
  Fragments of a Revolution (2022, 6:30) by Sahand Sarhaddi
  The Baby (2014, 16:18) by Ali Asgari

18:00 - 18:15 Q&A with filmmakers
  moderated by Arezoo Salehi, Visual Artist & Filmmaker

18:15 - 18:30 Break

18:30 - 20:00 Panel: The Aesthetics of Protest Art in Iran and the Middle East
  Dr. Azadeh Ganjeh, Hildesheim University
  Hannah Tatjes, UMAM Documentation and Research (UMAM D&R)
  moderated by Dr. Annika Haas, Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin)

Saturday, 10 June 2023
10:30 - 12:00 Panel: Protest Culture in the Face of Totalitarian Regimes
  Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, Film Maker  
  Barış Seyitvan, Visual Artist & Curator
  moderated by Mariam Mekiwi, Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin)

12:00 - 13:00 Break & Lunch

13:00 - 15:00 Panel: The Position of Feminist Cinema in Iran
  Afsun Moshiry, Curator and Film Producer
  Sina Ataeian Dena, Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf
  moderated by Dr. Hamed Soleimanzadeh

15:00 - 15:30 Break

15:30 - 17:00 Screening
  Katvoman (2022, 7:35) by Hadi Sheibani
  Requiem for Blood (2023, 3:54) by Soroush Emtiaz
  Sweet Destiny (2021, 54:24) by Arash Sobhani & Kajart
  British Passport (2022, 12:00) by Mahmood Pouyandeh
  Cover (2022, 5:16) by Masoud Babaei
  Rap4Azadi (2023, 3:10) by Omid Mirnour
  I’m Pregnant with Time Here (2022, 4:13) by Mohammad Hasani

17:00 - 17:30 Q&A with filmmakers
  moderated by Arezoo Salehi

17:30 - 18:00 Break

18:00 - 19:30 Screening
  Nahal (2022, 9:08) by Mehran Qorbani
  When Mohsen’s Mother Found Out (2022, 1:10) by Milad Rezaei
  Without Moonlight (2022, 13:18) by Faridokht Fakhar
  The Cat (2020, 13:00) by Mary Apick
  Diaries of a Revolution (3 Episodes) (2022, 4:30) by Reza Bird
  Zwischenstopp (2023, 3:00) by Saman Aboutalebi
  Allegoria (2020, 14:16) by Hakan Ünal
  Shadow in the Fog (2022, 12:44) by Lida Sadeghi
  Khoon Bas (2021, 5:00) by Masoud Babaei
  Tehran (2022, 3:35) by Ali Azizian

19:30 - 20:00 Q&A with filmmakers
  moderated by Arezoo Salehi


The event will be held at the following address: Wolf Kino, Weserstr. 59, 12045 Berlin
The event is free and open to the public