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Support for Iranian Protesters

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Since September, the world has anxiously watched from afar as protests rage across Iran, ignited by the brutal murder of Jina (Mahsa) Amini at the hands of the Islamic Republic’s morality police. A young woman ultimately lost her life for the absurd crime of having her hair “improperly” covered, a profoundly disturbing affront to the universal human rights of personal autonomy and free expression. This act is not the first instance of oppressive violence in Iran. In the decades since its inception, the Islamic Republic has ceaselessly committed atrocities against the Iranian people, free from accountability – until now.

I am raising funds to create a large-scale neon artwork measuring approximately 7 feet in diameter, prominently displayed on La Brea Avenue (LA Brea/Melrose avenue intersection) in the heart of Hollywood. In the months following Amini’s murder, media coverage of the protests has all but ceased, so visibility and public education are fundamental to this movement. Signage and bold messaging are crucial tools in the project of change, and CHANT is part of the greater effort to keep this movement alive in our communities worldwide. First and foremost, this project is a tool for public education, joining the demand for urgent change in Iran, using the power of art to elevate the dialogue and keep it in the public eye. The sign is meant to garner attention, sparking press coverage and encouraging continued direct action. CHANT is a visual statement that will help serve as a beacon for all those united in the struggle for freedom.

Video: Rendering of CHANT on the facade of Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, Los Angeles

The Symbolism of CHANT

CHANT carries the rallying cry of the movement “WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM.” in the colors of the Iranian flag, distilling our anger into a demand that can and must be met. Written in English, Farsi, and the phonetic Farsi, these translations are important to diasporic Iranians whose relationship with the written language is in the phonetic form. The sun in the center of the piece carries great symbolic weight in such a pivotal moment for the future of the Iranian people, representing a universal light, a beacon of change and positive growth, and the strength of a people united in the struggle for freedom. Moreover, this symbol of a humanized sun, especially with feminine features, is ancient and prevalent throughout Iranian culture.

Fundraising details
  • All funds raised from this campaign will go directly toward the piece's fabrication, shipping, and installation.
  • Once Chant is sold, 100% of the proceeds will go towards organizations fighting for human rights worldwide, such as Omid Foundation, Amnesty International and The Center for Human Rights In Iran.
  • Any additional funds raised from this campaign will be used to create additional neon works in other major cities.

Why Action is Urgent

Immediately following Amini’s horrific murder, women-led protests erupted in all corners of Iran and have not let up since. These protests mark a historic sea change for human rights in Iran. They already have grown to become among the most significant feminist movements ever, reaching far and wide across the globe. We’ve seen the struggle unfold as our sisters and brothers stand up to the Islamic Republic and say no more! No more religious oppression, no more sexism, no more inequality, and no more deaths.

It’s inspiring to see the people of Iran rise against the regime in unity and solidarity, using the power of their voices and putting their bodies on the line. Each act of resistance comes with the risk of arrest, of being shot, kidnapped, tortured and killed — their bravery is awe-inspiring. As I write this, the death toll of protestors is 466, with thousands more arrested. By the time you read this, those numbers surely will rise.

The Global Struggle

Many Iranians who live abroad dream of returning to Iran. They yearn to reconnect with the land they come from, experience its rich history, get in touch with relatives they have never met, and gain a deeper understanding of their past. While that dream seems to slip further with each passing year, these protests represent our best chance of finally ushering in an era of democracy and equality in Iran. We have an opportunity now to ensure women’s autonomy and religious freedom for all. We can give the highly educated youth of Iran a chance at success and see Iran returning to the global community.

I’ve had many personal discussions with fellow Iranians who feel stuck and don’t know how to take action. Many have resorted to DIY measures to keep the voice of the voiceless alive, whether by collecting petition signatures, making clothing and posters to promote the cause, or showing up at local protests and political offices to demand that leaders speak out. We cannot allow the deaths of hundreds to be in vain, and we refuse to let this movement lose momentum or dissipate. We will not stop until there is fundamental change, and we want the world to see the violence and oppression the Iranian government inflicts on its people.

Why Los Angeles?

As a city with one of the largest Iranian populations outside of Iran, Los Angeles is a crucial nexus point for spreading awareness about the current situation. In the wake of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, many Iranian refugees resettled in Los Angeles to restart their lives. This piece also serves as a sign of hope for more than 700,000 Iranians who now call Los Angeles their home. This project recognizes the diaspora's complexity and depth, acknowledging the Iranian people's struggles for so many decades.

The sign will be installed on the facade of Shulamit Nazarian Gallery in Los Angeles. It serves as a constant reminder of the struggles of the people on the ground in Iran; with this piece, the aim is to heighten awareness about the Iranian cause and to keep the spark of the movement alive. It’s placed in an ideal location to reach a vast public audience. In its brightness and scale, the sign is designed to command attention, stop people in their tracks, and inspire the urgent action and awareness that continues to fuel this movement. This work of art will educate and garner support from allies of the Iranian people in the US and worldwide. It’s a show of solidarity with Iranians living in Iran who must endure ongoing human rights violations and outright violence at the hands of their government, and a direct way for Iranians in the diaspora to lend our voices and stand with Iran while feeling the weight of having to witness this struggle from abroad.

About Me

I’m an artist living and working in Los Angeles. I was born in Tehran, and my family left Iran in the early 80s as refugees in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. I have many relatives remaining in Iran and am deeply connected to this movement. Growing up in the DC area, public art was my first exposure to art, and from then on, I have seen it as a powerful force for connection and change. With my background showing work in galleries and museums worldwide and having made large-scale public artworks for more than 20 years, I hope to bring all of my experience to this project. I approach every project with the goal of engaging the larger public and inspiring dialogue that ultimately leads to fundamental change.


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Amir H. Fallah
Los Angeles, CA

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