Seyedeharmaghan Fatemi

As an artist from Iran, I am interested in exploring the social-political issues of the region and how they may intersect with wider concerns of gender, class, and labour. Being a conceptual artist, my choice of medium is guided by my ideas and I have worked with media as varied as painting, sculpture, installation, video, and textiles. I have been raised in a conservative environment, and I use art to question the norms I grew up with through the lens of my feminist identity. My most recent work has focused on exploring the situation of weavers in Iran.

Last year I travelled across Iran, interviewing weavers, dyers and workshop owners for my documentary on Persian carpets. I examine the socio-economic conditions in which a carpet is made, in particular, the precarious position of the female weavers. Ten years ago, I learnt how to weave, but I didn’t practice enough to remember this skill, so I refreshed it when I travelled to Iran. This time in contrast to ten years ago, I was passionate to experience the process and get a better sense for making my documentary which focuses on the weavers’ stories. Although now I enjoy weaving, I am not comfortable to call myself a “weaver” when miles away in my homeland, these women are working with the least amount of wage and no insurance. Instead, I prefer to be known as a woman who knows how to weave.