The Poetics and Politics of the Veil in Iran (Book)

An Archival and Photographic Adventure

This volume explores the lives of women in Iran through the social, political, and aesthetic contexts of veiling, unveiling, and re-veiling. Through poetic writings and photographs, Azadeh Fatehrad responds to the legacy of the Iranian Revolution via the representation of women in photography, literature, and film. The images and texts are documentary, analytical, and personal.

Edition

This volume explores the lives of women in Iran through the social, political, and aesthetic contexts of veiling, unveiling, and re-veiling. Through poetic writings and photographs, Azadeh Fatehrad responds to the legacy of the Iranian Revolution via the representation of women in photography, literature, and film. The images and texts are documentary, analytical, and personal.

The Poetics and Politics of the Veil in Iran features Fatehrad’s own photographs in addition to work by artists Hengameh Golestan, Shirin Neshat, Shadi Ghadirian, Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Adolf Loos, Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault, and Alison Watt. In exploring women’s lives in post-revolutionary Iran, Fatehrad considers the role of the found image and the relationship between the archive and the present, resulting in an illuminating history of feminism in Iran in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Dr Azadeh Fatehrad is an artist and curator based at the Visual and Material Culture Research Centre, Kingston University London, working primarily with still and moving images in the context of historical representation. She was the St. John’s College artist in residence 2018 at the University of Oxford.

'This refreshing and evocative book brings new light to the study of how women in Iran are represented at home and abroad. Tracking images of Iranian women in photography, film, poetry, fiction, and philosophy, Azadeh Fatehrad locates the experience of state-mandated unveiling and veiling within the spaces of the home and society, revealing how changes to the urban fabric coalesce with new veiling regulations to foster and inhibit access to public life for women in Iran.  Bringing her own artist's eye to the subject, Fatehrad explores how visual behaviours of looking and averting the gaze - often indiscernible to outsiders -are learned, imposed, and resisted by women and men across the generations and across the political spectrum.'

Reina Lewis, Professor of Cultural Studies, London College of Fashion, UAL, author of Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures

'Azadeh Fatehrad shares her research with great sincerity. Her book gives a rare glimpse into some of the day-to-day affairs of Iranians - Iran is a huge topic and this is a very welcome addition to the growing literature about the country.'

Prof. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, SOAS, University of London. Author of Psycho-nationalism: Global Thought, Iranian imaginations (Cambridge UP)
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