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WENTRUP am Feenteich presents Ghazall Abdolahi from 21.01.2023

Editors’ Choice

The Berlin gallery WENTRUP presents Ghazall Abdolahi’s exhibition in support of women’s struggle for freedom in Iran at its Hamburg branch on Feenteich. Opening of the exhibition: Saturday, 21 January 2023, 4-8 pm. At 5:30 pm Ghazall Abdolahi (artist), Minu Barati (film producer) and Dr. Uta Ruhkamp (Senior Curator Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg) will discuss the possibilities of art and film to address social and political grievances and create safe spaces for women.

Image above: Narges Mohammadi, 51, is an Iranian human rights activist and vice president of the Center of Defenders of Human Rights.
She is now in Evin prison.
Ghazall Abdolahi | Narges Mohammadi, 2022 | Mixed media on coffee filter bag | 12.5 x 19 cm

Leila Hosseinzadeh, 332 years old, is an activist student from Iran. Although she was released from jail on bail, she will likely have to go back.
Ghazall Abdolahi | Leila Hosseinzadeh, 2022 | Mixed media on coffee filter bag | 12.5 x 19 cm

Ghazall Abdolahi, 28, is an activist for women’s rights and political prisoners. She was suspended as a student at the Faculty of Art and Architecture in Tehran. Ghazall Abdolahi is the daughter of Alieh Motallebzadeh, a photojournalist and women’s rights activist, and Sadra Abdolahi, a director and writer who was banned from working.

Niloufar Bayani, 37,  Iranian wildlife conservationist, biological researcher and activist. She was convicted of espionage in a trial behind closed doors in Iran.
She is now in Evin prison.
Ghazall Abdolahi | Niloufar Bayani, 2022 | Mixed media on coffee filter bag | 12.5 x 19 cm

Their mother, Alieh Motallebzadeh, is currently imprisoned in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. Before Ghazall Abdolahi fled to Germany at the end of last year, she had the opportunity to visit her mother in prison. During these visits, she secretly drew portraits of the imprisoned women. Coffee filter bags, which seemed to her to be the least suspicious way to smuggle paper into the prison, served as the image carrier.

Alieh Motallebzadeh, 57, is a photojournalist, human rights defender and vice chairwoman of the Iranian Association for the Defense of Press Freedom. She has worked for a number of publications on women’s rights, including the now-banned magazine Zanan (Women). She also participated in the One Million campaign, which called for greater gender equality. She is a member of the Campaign for the Protection of Female Victims of Acid Attacks in Iran.
She is currently in Evin prison
Ghazall Abdolahi | Alieh Motallebzadeh, 2022 | Mixed media on coffee filter bag | 12.5 x 19 cm

Wentrup am Feenteich exhibits these impressive portraits of women who were imprisoned for standing up for their human rights. All proceeds from sales benefit the non-governmental organization HAWAR.help.

Saba Kord Afshari, 25 years old, is a Iranian political prisoner. She appeared without a headscarf and talked about it on social media.
She is now in Evin Prison.
Ghazall Abdolahi | Saba Kord Afshari, 2022 | Mixed media on coffee filter bag | 12.5 x 19 cm

“Although I am no longer in Iran and have never been behind walls we call prison, I am far away from my home country now. But I know that I cannot and will not return to my country during the time of the Islamic Republic. As long as the dictatorship is still in power, it feels like being in prison to leave your own country and leave behind everything you have there – your home, your friends and family, even the streets and the polluted air I breathed, even the borders! Things I can’t and won’t find a substitute for anywhere else.
There are all the hours of togetherness that I lost with the drawn faces. The coffee together to get to know these people was stolen from me. The time when you could smell the coffee and the cigarette smoke in the houses and cafes and sit down at a table when you could spar through the streets full of trees with a coffee in your hand, where you could live carefree and love and be loved. There were those whose eyes were stolen from their faces, whose smiles disappeared, and whose lives were lost; sometimes, not even their names remained. They became drawn pictures and faded images in my mind. Those we loved were either sentenced to sit behind bars or they were completely destroyed, taken away, or disappeared; they froze and became a wandering cloud that will accompany me everywhere on this earth. Their love will remain; the names and lines on these faces belong to an identity; they are not just names and numbers but the years stolen from us and Iran.”

— Ghazall Abdolahi


Am Feenteich 18
22085 Hamburg


Opening: Saturday, 21st January 2023, 4-8 pm

As part of the opening: discussion with Ghazall Abdolahi (artist), Minu Barati (film producer) and Dr. Uta Ruhkamp (Senior Curator Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg) at 5:30 p.m.

Opening hours

By arrangement only.

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