Iran: #4GenderStudies Solidarity Talk

Talk: 10 Jan 2023 | 12 – 01:30 pm Performance in public spaces is an integral part of women’s revolutionary protests in Iran. The Margherita-von-Brentano-Zentrum invites students, scholars and employees to the Solidarity Talk Woman, Life, Freedom: The Rebellion of Bodies in Iran’s Feminist Revolution with Dr. Elaheh Hatami and Elnaz Mostaan. No registration needed.

In their talk, Dr. Elaheh Hatami and Elnaz Mostaan will discuss the dynamic of performance in challenging politics and advancing the women’s emancipation movement in Iran. Since September 16th, people have been taking to the streets across Iran to demonstrate for their basic human right to freedom. Women have become the protagonists of the revolution to reclaim their oppressed bodies. For them it is not just about the headscarf, but about emancipation. Women cut their hair, burn their hijabs and dance in the streets without headscarves.

In this revolution, performance in public spaces has become a particularly creative form of protest that ist not tolerated in any form by the religious regime. During the protests, people were attacked with tear gas, poison gas and batons, arrested, imprisioned, tortured, raped and murdered in the streets.

The potential and power of the rebellious body has inspired artists and activists in the Iranian diaspora. For more than 60 days, the group of activists Feminista has been camping 24/7 in front of the headquarters of the Green Party in Berlin to create visibility with performance actions. In the Netherlands, Iranian activists perform with empty water bottles in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to attract the attention of politicians. The performance Blood will never be washed out is performed by two Iranian artists in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

The solidarity talk is part of the Germany-wide #4GenderStudies initiative, established in 2017 in response to the devaluation of gender studies as a whole and to attacks on individual gender researchers on social media. Another aim of #4GenderStudies is to share research results and to show how exciting, diverse and scientifically excellent gender studies are. Usually, #4GenderStudies acitivities take place in December but this talk had to be postponed.


Dr. Elaheh Hatami is a dance scholar based in Berlin. She studied dance studies at Freie Universität Berlin, where she also received her doctorate. She is the author of Global Bodies: Dancers in Exile and Politics of Placec (2022). Her current research focuses on the relationship between corporality and performance with protest.

Elnaz Mostaan is holding a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master’s degree in monumental heritage. From 2013- 2015, she organized theater workshops of the oppressed in Iran. Since 2020, she is part of a social and political theater collective in Berlin. Currently, she is working as a lecturer at Weißensee Academy of Art in Berlin and creates performances in a feminista activist group.

When & Where?

Jan 10 2023 | 12 – 13:30pm

Freie Universität Berlin, Rost- & Silberlaube, Room KL 29/135

No registration needed


Dr. Sabina García Peter

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