Throughout history Art has served many different aspirations & sometimes plays a central role in political & social movements.
This image “Indigenous Shadow “ created by Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt in 2014 has crossed cultural boundaries & become adopted inside & outside Iran as one of the most iconic visual anthems of the current anti-hijab protests & uprising in Iran. It is one of the most proliferated images on social media & you will notice many of your Iranian friends using it as profile pictures.
This is the power of art. Be it a song, an image or a poem, what art does is give us a universal language with which we can communicate our collective struggle, hopes & dreams.
So I ask all my fellow Iranians who are using this image & now know who the artist is, to please give her credit. The only person I have seen credit her is our very own treasured artist, my dearest friend whom I’ve had the great honor of collaborating with, Hamid Rahmanian
And for those who ask “why does crediting an artist matter when lives are literally at stake,” I say that what Edith Dekyndt has accomplished with this one image is no small feat. Her art has become an integral tool with which we are uniting our purpose & our voices to express solidarity with our compatriots in Iran, so she deserves to be named & acknowledged.
German philosopher Adorno once wrote that “Art is an uncommitted crime.” What he meant with this profound statement is that art by its very nature, courageously confronts & disputes the status quo, therefore becoming an instrument with which society can be influenced & transformed.
So while my motherland burns, all I can do as an artist bearing witness from a safe distance, is ask myself how I can become an instrument of inspiration & change.
Thank you Edith Dekyndt for this precious gift.
Source: Azam Ali on Facebook