Throughout the month of July, Leon is honored to be collaborating with Middle East Images Foundation, to present to our Denver community, an exhibition of images from the civil rights protests that took place in Iran last fall.
To learn more about the details of these protests, please view this insightful Frontline episode from January of this year.
Mahsa-Jina Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, was beaten to death in the custody of the so-called “morality police,” for the crime of having what they considered an improper hijab, on September 16, 2022, in Tehran. Her murder sparked a revolutionary uprising that is now known the world over as the Woman Life Freedom movement. Led by women and Gen Z, the intersectional movement has brought together Iranians from across various gender, age, socioeconomic, labor, and ethnic groups, both inside the country and in diaspora to fight against the Islamic Revolution and its brutal patriarchal and ideological totalitarianism.
According to official reports by human rights organizations, more than five-hundred people have been brutally killed in the past few months, and thousands (according to some sources, as many as fourteen thousand at one point) arrested, many of whom still remain in detention. Several men have been executed for the sole crime of participating in protests.
An unprecedented fight that has lasted for more than ten months in various shapes and forms, the Woman Life Freedom uprising has already victoriously shifted the foundations of the Iranian society, even if it has not (yet) led to the toppling down of the Islamic Republic regime.
The photographs showcased in the “Woman, Life, Freedom” exhibition at Leon Gallery, brought to you in collaboration with the Middle East Images Foundation, document the bravery of the protestors through the lens of seven young photographers based in Iran, who for security reasons need to remain anonymous. Risking their lives and freedoms to be present at these historical moments, these young women and men bring to us unique images of a people standing up for their right to their bodies and minds with all their might.