JR, the French photographer, unveiled his last performance in New York on Sunday in tribute to Nika Shakarami, who died during the protests in Iran.
Copyright : JR
Nika Shakarami died at the age of 16
French artist JR presented his latest performance on Sunday, December 4 in New York, which powerfully illustrates the struggle of Iranian women against the Tehran regime by representing the face of an Iranian woman who died during the demonstrations and her hair formed by volunteers. . After several weeks of reflection, he decided to use volunteers to compose the hair of the young Nika Shakarami, who died at the age of 16 during the demonstrations triggered in Iran by the death of Mahsa Amini, on September 16, after having been arrested by the Iranian morality police who judged that she was not wearing her veil correctly. An aunt of Nika Shakarami sent the French artist one of the last photos published by the young girl on social networks, which has since been removed. JR chose Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, an island in the middle of the East River that runs along eastern Manhattan, opposite the United Nations headquarters, to showcase his work on Sunday.
Supported by Hillary Clinton
Thanks to this group of volunteers, more than a hundred in total, Nika’s hair comes back to life to the rhythm of the icy wind blowing over New York. This performance is part of the “Eyes on Iran” campaign promoted by Iranian women members of organizations such as For Freedoms, Vital Voices and the global coalition Woman, Life, Freedom, which at the time of its launch on November 28 received support from former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “On our small scale, it’s one of the rare things we can do, and therefore create an image like that, somewhere, it brings back attention to also show that on the other side of the world we think to all these women and all these people who are fighting on the spot”, explained this committed artist, who has already presented works around the separation wall between Mexico and the United States, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or more recently the war in Ukraine. This campaign is working to get the United Nations to expel Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women, in a vote expected on December 14.