Thursday, July 23, 2009

Artwork Created During Hunger Strike

artwork (c)artist, photo (c)Sara Rahai

reported by Julie Jigsawnovich

On July 22nd, during the first of the three-day of the hunger strike near the United Nations headquarters in New York City in support of Iranian protesters demanding democracy, freedom and human rights, Iranian Architect Soheil Tavakoli created a painting live, on site--combining imagery of Tehran's Azadi Tower, the UN building and protesters bearing signs including one that said, "I am Neda"--a reference to the the slain protest bystander who became a symbol of the movement. With characteristic Iranian forbearance, Tavakoli said he purposely left the work "unfinished so that it could be completed by other people's signatures." Tavakoli has also designed a memorial for the contemporary Iranian poet, Shamlou, who, "during his life just talked about freedom." Tavakoli now plans to also include in the memorial the names of the many persons who have died in the violent crackdown on protesters following the recent presidential election in the Islamic Republic.

The hunger strike continues today and tomorrow, and Tavokoli will be there with fresh canvases and new designs. Hunger strike participants are invited to sign the work. Saturday, July 25th there will be a rally starting at Times Square at 12:30, marching to the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, and then on to the United Nations headquarters at 1st Avenue and East 47th St. Both events are hosted by the New York Chapter of Where is My Vote? For more information, see:

UPDATE: This painting reportedly sold for $2,000. at an auction on the last day of the hunger strike.

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