An Iranian Artist Living in Exile, Shirin Neshat

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Shirin Neshat, presented a TEDtalk on December 2010. Here she discusses her life as an artist living in exile. Neshat was born 26th of March 1957; she is an Iranian woman who has been separated from her family for 12 years. She became the voice for her country, and other Iranian women artists living in exile. She expresses herself through her art, using both painting and photography. All of her pieces give you examples of the complex, social, religious and political realities that shape her as an Iranian woman, and other Muslim woman around the world.

“Every Iranian artist, is in one form or another, is political. Politics have defined our lives.” Neshat (2010). Each of her pieces offers a glimpse into the realities that shape her identity. The complex, religious, social and political identities that not only shape Neshat, but the identities of every Muslim woman worldwide. She explores and presents the political and social conditions seen within Iran and Muslim life in her work. As a woman living in exile, she is the voice/speaker of her people. Artists like (and including) Neshat are there to inspire, provoke, and bring hope to their people. Neshat didn’t start making art for social commentary; she in fact began after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Neshat had been absent for over a decade, and when she returned her home country had been transformed.

Shirin Neshat, an Iranian woman, whose life is defined by the government. She, and other Iranian women face

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