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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Arts in Society

Spot On! theatre seminar - PAMELA KARIMI (University of Massachusetts): 'Women, Art, Freedom'

When:Th 25-04-2024 18:00 - 19:30

SPOT ON 2023-2024 Theatre Seminar - Arts, Culture and Media


This presentation draws from Pamela Karimi’s forthcoming book, Women, Art, Freedom: Artists and Street Politics in Iran (Leuven University Press, 2024) which focuses on the link between art and activism in Iran, particularly following the 2022 Woman, Life, Freedom uprising. The presentation goes beyond analysing popular protest art to highlight the significant, yet less visible, grassroots movements and the crucial role of artists in driving guerrilla interventions and peaceful protests inside Iran. By examining the contributions of Iran-based artists within the broader historical and theoretical context of Iran’s protest art, and emphasising the connection between public activism, women’s rights, and feminist perspectives, the talk underscores the artists’ essential role in promoting global justice and equality.

About the speaker

Pamela Karimi specialises in the study of modern and contemporary art, architecture, and visual culture of the Middle East. She received her PhD from MIT and is now a professor of history of art and architecture at the University of Massachusetts. Her expertise lies primarily in the art, architecture, and visual culture of the modern and contemporary Middle East. She is the author of Domesticity and Consumer Culture in Iran: Interior Revolutions of the Modern Era (2013) and co-editor of a number of volumes, including The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in the Middle East: From Napoleon to ISIS (2016). Her most recent book, Alternative Iran: Contemporary Art and Critical Spatial Practice, was published in 2022 by Stanford University Press. Her forthcoming book, titled Women, Art, Freedom: Artists and Street Politics in Iran, is set to be released by Leuven University Press later this year. Currently on sabbatical at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, Karimi is working on a book manuscript that explores the intersection of design and environmental challenges in the Middle East. Her research has been supported by numerous awards, including subvention funds from the College Art Association and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts. She has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others. In 2018, she was honoured with the University of Massachusetts Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and more recently, she was named the Scholar of the Year by the Faculty Federation at her home institution.