Shirin Neshat Analysis

Words: 538
Pages: 3

Rebecca Moore
Identity Project

Identity Project
Shirin Neshat was born in Qazvin, Iran, but she didn’t come to the United States until the age of seventeen, a few years before the Iranian revolution. She studied painting and after earning her masters in Fine Arts, she moved to New York and began working, for a non-profit art and architecture gallery. Neshat selected photography since she felt that her topic mattered and required an intellect of realism. She was enchanted by photojournalism and she believed the Women of Allah series obligatory a true feeling not possible with painting. Rebellious Silence is a photograph that describes a woman in a traditional chador along with the barrel of a rifle that intersects a perpendicular seam on the image.
The emblazoned Farsi poem on her face acts as a niqab. The niqab is a veil that covers the woman’s face, leaving a small opening for the eyes. The poem serves as a statement of the woman’s politics, referencing the obligatory law to wear the veil in public during the Iran revolutionary war, while her strong-minded stare honors the bravery and belief of Muslim women who were militarized in the war.
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Her reason is not to defend the Muslim culture to break down the stereotypical opinions of the Women. Instead, she forces the viewers to rethink what they believe, or have been injured by society to be the norm by conveying these flawless misapprehensions. Unruly silence, a piece from the Women of Allah series illustrates the ways in which Neshat observes the difficulties of women’s identities in the Middle East through the lens of Western pictures of Muslim