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    Saba Khansari : One step From Where We are

    Saba Khansari has been the artist in residence at MERZ since November 2023. Saba is an Iranian architect and photographer and has been living in Italy following completion of her Masters Degree. As part of the ERASMUS European Young Entrepreneurs programme Saba has been able to engage with fellow Iranian photographers and curate her exhibition in Scotland. Saba has also curated a small-scale version of her exhibition along with a talk at Catstrand, the community arts centre in New Galloway. With her architectural knowledge of sustainable buildings Saba has contributed to the launch of the Brickfields Project in Sanquhar.

    As a consequence of Brexit the cultural and educational ERASMUS exchanges with the UK stop at the end of January 2024.

    On her exhibition Saba writes:-

    “After the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran in January 1979, the government applied strict rules restricting the freedom of women. From two months after the revolution women had no right to appear in public without wearing the hijab These laws made it harder and harder for women to express their own identity: but women never stopped fighting for their rights. The last and most important show of solidarity followed the killing of Jina-Mahsa-Amini by the morality police in Tehran, in 2022. Resistance united behind ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ and the slogan spread quickly to other cities in Iran and to other countries. During four months of action an estimated 530 protestors were killed by the security forces. A significant number of those deaths occurred as a result of direct gunfire on the streets, while other protestors were taken, tortured and killed in prison. Although protests may have stopped over time women in Iran continue to resist the enforced wearing of the hijab in public, going out in the streets with their hair flowing ensuring the flame of emancipation remains”.