World Cinema Amsterdam Talk: Revolt, art & feminism in Iran

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Art – ranging from films, to murals and illustrations online – play a big role in keeping the revolution in Iran alive. During World Cinema Amsterdam, several Iranian-Dutch artists talk about revolt, art and feminism. What role does visual art play in the revolution? How difficult and dangerous is it for Iranian women to express themselves through art? And how does recent protest art relate to the rich tradition of Persian art?

Almost a year after the death of Iranian-Kurdish women Jina Masha Amini, the ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ movement in Iran continues, despite the Iranian government’s severe crackdown. Iran has hanged at least 354 people in the first six months of 2023, according to a recent report of Iran Human Rights.

About the speakers

Sara Emami is a Dutch-Iranian illustrator. When the protests started in Iran in 2022, Emami also raised her voice by creating an illustration. It was picked up worldwide and became a symbol of Iran’s struggle for women’s rights. She created this year’s campaign image of World Cinema Amsterdam, in collaboration with a Persian poster designer, who operates anonymously from Iran.

Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi is a disciplinary artist born in Tehran, Iran and based in Amsterdam. She studied Astronomy at Groningen University, followed by fine arts at Minerva art academy and a postgraduate study at Sandberg institute. Her works have been selected and shown in various international venues and film festivals such as IDFA and IFFR. Next to her artistic practice, she is teaching at Gerrit Rietveld academy since 2013.

Nafiss Nia is an Iranian-Dutch filmmaker, poet, cultural entrepreneur and public speaker. She studied Cinema and Modern Persian Literature in Tehran and Script Writing at the Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam. She is the director of Granate Foundation in Amsterdam. (


Sara EmamiDutch-Iranian illustrator | Photo: Afsaneh Ghafarian Rabe’I
Sara Emami
Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi Artist born in Tehran
Nafiss NiaIranian-Dutch filmmaker, poet, entrepreneur

Image: Sara Emami.