Diffusion Festival Logo Revolution 1-31 May 2017 bullhorn Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.


I am Iranian. I was born in 1980, a year after the Iranian Revolution. I learned how to wear my scarf when I was seven years old. I still remember putting it on for the first time, getting ready for my first day at school. It was me, my mother and a mirror. Two years later my Religious teacher stopped me in the corridor for letting my hair show. She told me to cover my hair completely. She said “When you die, Amak, you will go to hell and you will be hanged with your hair strand over a very big fire for all eternity because you didn’t hide it from the eyes of strangers in your lifetime” Seven years ago, I was waiting in a reception room, holding the birth certificates of my mother and me. We looked similar in our ID photographs. That same day my fingerprint was fixed next to my image, and my mother’s fingerprint next to her image. Despite the outward similarity of the images the fingerprints were different; the scar I had on my finger became part of my identity next to my photograph. I decided this meant something, that our identities were entwined with these official identities, with these prints and these papers. In the following three years, I collected similar images and fingerprints from different women in Iran. And gradually, different stories began to be told and the differences came through; both in the fingerprints but also in faces that, despite the restrictions that are placed around them, still claim individuality and person-hood; by a glint in the eyes, a turn of the mouth, or a raise of the brows. And that is what this project is about: women who are individuals, women who are more than just a loose strand of hair. A small part of her being can show how different she is from the others , she is herself.