The Seen Iranian Woman

The Seen Iranian Woman

The Seen Iranian Woman

An opportunity to bring awareness to what it has been like to be an Iranian woman in recent times through a showcase of fashion, art, poetry, and history. A collaborative exhibition of work curated by Jaleh Naasz, MFA.


Exibition Dates: October 23, 2023 - November 16, 2023

Artist Statement

Join us on Thursday, October 26 in the University Union for a lecture in the HInde Auditorium on the 1st Floor from 5:00–6:00 pm and then a reception in the Gallery on the 2nd Floor from 6:00–8:00 pm

During the last 100 years there have been dramatic variations in Iranian law regarding what is allowed for women to wear. Mahsa Jina Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman was arrested due to improper dress in Iran and died in police custody on Sept. 16, 2022, after being severely beaten by the Morality Police. This act of brutality and injustice ignited vast protests in Iran, initially by women and soon supported by men and people from various ethnic groups within Iran, demanding basic human rights. The messages coming out of Iran, have been focused on Women, Life, Freedom, a movement supported by many Iranians around the world.

As an Iranian immigrant and an instructor in the Fashion Merchandising and Management department at CSUS, when the women-led uprising began in my home country, I quickly noticed the lack of news coverage here in the U.S. Seeing how many people around me were unaware of these events, I wanted to create a collaborative display infusing art, history, and fashion, hoping that it may be an effective way to connect with local Iranians and a dynamic way to engage the campus community and the greater Sacramento region and to bring more awareness to the tragedies that were taking place and the uncertainty and trauma the youth and kids are experiencing in Iran today.

This exhibit features artwork from CSUS students, Iranian artists, poets, designers, and donated garments and textiles by CSUS alumni. This exhibit is the result of collaborative involvement from the Iranian and Middle Eastern Studies Center as well as support from the Fashion Merchandising and Management Department, College of SSIS and University Enterprises.

To provide context beyond the visuals, music and artwork displayed relating to the current movement, you will find a historical curation of fashion to illustrate women’s dress over the last century as dictated by Iranian law.

The voices coming out of Iran want to be heard and the acts of protest and sacrifices being made need to be seen. Besides having a platform to share a small glimpse into that outcry, this is an opportunity to better understand how laws regarding compulsory hijab, veil, and other fashions can lead to the atrocities and plight that many women face around the world. Attendees are invited to contemplate topics of dress code and women’s rights in their own environment and consider how quickly rights can be lost and societies changed.

—Jaleh Naasz

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