Banner Dissent: Protesters Unfurl Anger Inside  Guggenheim

Religion and its practices should be voluntary, not mandatory. For some reason historically, it takes men longer to realize this than women.

The killing of Jina Mahsa Amini for not wearing a headscarf (or hijab) in Iran recently may remind you of the various women’s rights movements internationally in the last century – a loud, messy, often violent insurrection of the oppressed – and the raised voices of those acting in solidarity. Unfortunately, this is how real change happens sometimes; by fighting for it.

Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran. Guggenheim Museum. New York City. October 22, 2022. (photo courtesy of the Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran)

Obviously, the young Kurdish Iranian had the right to decide whether to wear a scarf, or not. The ocean of women’s voices from inside Iran and outside over the past few weeks has been a resounding rejection of certain men’s authoritarian attempts to presume to dictate over women – including about completely personal topics like what to wear.  

We bring you some exclusive shots of a visual protest inside the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan over the weekend. Unfurling banners from the top end of the continuous winding street of galleries that lead to the ground, a group of activists/artists called Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran, let loose yells and clapping as the red strips rolled toward the floor and captured the attention of museum-goers.

Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran. Guggenheim Museum. New York City. October 22, 2022. (photo courtesy of the Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran)

The lateral design alternated a stenciled portrait of Ms. Mahsa Amini with graphic text echoing those slogans shouted in streets in Kurdish, Persian, English, and many other tongues. “Zan zendegi azadi! Woman, life, freedom!”

History tells us that these riots and demonstrations will work gradually, in waves, until the oppressor gives up and concentrate on better uses of their intellect. By choosing a Manhattan museum of such stature, allies may be reaching new audiences who, in turn, will join the crowds at recent demonstrations like those in cities like Berlin, Washington, and Los Angeles – even Tempe, Arizona.

Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran. Guggenheim Museum. New York City. October 22, 2022. (photo courtesy of the Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran)
Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran. Guggenheim Museum. New York City. October 22, 2022. (photo courtesy of the Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran)
Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran. Guggenheim Museum. New York City. October 22, 2022. (photo courtesy of the Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran)
Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran. Guggenheim Museum. New York City. October 22, 2022. (photo courtesy of the Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran)
A security guard from the museum is photographed removing the banners from the premises. Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran. Guggenheim Museum. New York City. October 22, 2022. (photo courtesy of the Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran)

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