Betreff:        e-flux Notes: Women Reflected in Their Own History
Datum:  Sat, 15 Oct 2022 16:01:11 +0000
Von:    e-flux <>

e-flux Notes

Women Reflected in Their Own History


This text was originally published in Persian on the Iranian feminist platform Harass Watch, on September 28, 2022. The first English translation of the text was published on the Arab ezine Jadaliyya on October 5, 2022.

For Zhina, Niloufar, Elaheh, Mahsa, Elmira, and those whose names I haven’t yet uttered.

What follows is an attempt to understand what one intuits about a gap—the gap between watching videos and photographs of the protests and being in the street. This is an attempt to elaborate the short circuit between these two arenas, those of the virtual space and the street, in this historical moment. I must stress that what I have witnessed and been inspired by might not necessarily apply to other cities. I live in a small town that differs from bigger cities or even other smaller ones in terms of the location where protests usually take place. This text is not intended to universalize this situation towards a general conclusion, but to elaborate on this particular situation and the influence it has had on me.

The protests reached my little town after breaking out in Kurdistan and Tehran. For some days I encountered videos of protests on the streets, passionate songs, photographs, and the figures of militant women, and on Wednesday eventually I found myself in a street protest. It was very strange: the first moments of being /there/, on the street, surrounded by the protesters whom until yesterday I had watched and admired on the screen of a phone—astonished by their courage, I had grieved and cried for them. I was looking around and was trying to synchronize the images of the street with its reality. What I saw was very similar to what I had watched before, but there was a gap between my watching self and my self on the street, and I needed a few moments to register it. The street wasn’t the bearer of horror anymore, but just an ordinary space. Everything was ordinary, even when those with batons, guns, and shock prods were attacking to disperse us. I don’t know how to describe the word “ordinary,” or what better synonym to use in its place. The distance between myself and those images that I was desiring had decreased. I was that image, I was coming to my senses and realizing that I am in a ring of women burning headscarves, as if I had always been doing that before. I was coming to my senses and realizing I was being beaten a few moments ago.

Read the full text on e-flux Notes.

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