Skip to main content
Outdated Browser

For the best experience using our website, we recommend upgrading your browser to a newer version or switching to a supported browser.

More Information


A series on the revolutionary uprising in Iran

Drawing created using thread on paper that blends classical images from Persian art with images...
"Mahsa Amini," Roya Amigh. Thread on paper, 2022. By arrangement with the artist.

This series is an attempt to create a space for the voices of Iranians who are using their words and their art to document the ongoing uprising in Iran as well as protest and fight the system.

Today Zhina/Mahsa Amini’s name is not just a name anymore. The Iranian Kurdish woman who was beaten to death in the custody of the so-called “morality police” in Tehran has become the symbol of an unprecedented revolution in the country, a revolution sparked by women and centered around the slogan #WomanLifeFreedom. For more than a month now, Iranians of all ages, including Gen Z, from all walks of life, including university students and laborers, and from all over the country and the diaspora have united and taken to the streets to fight against a brutal patriarchal dictatorship that uses its ideologies, finances, and military power to rob the Iranian people, in whatever way it can, of their right to their bodies and minds.

Since Zhina/Mahsa’s death on September 16, 2022, at least three hundred more civilians, including forty-six children, have been violently killed, and these are just cases officially confirmed by human rights organizations. Thousands more (according to some sources, as many fourteen thousand) have been arrested and many are disappeared. The numbers are rising every day as the protests continue, and the lives of many prisoners, including journalists and human rights activists, are in danger.

The #WomanLifeFreedom series at Words Without Borders is an attempt to create a space for the voices of Iranians who are using their words and their art to document these days as well as protest and fight the system. Taking inspiration from the horizontal, decentralized spirit of the movement and its collective collaborative approach, while wanting to avoid demanding more labor from Iranian writers and artists and activists hard at work in this intense time, I will be primarily curating material that has already been produced and shared among Iranians on various social media, a battleground where much invaluable communication and conversation joins the bodies in the streets standing against bullets and batons.

The #WomanLifeFreedom series will be published every three weeks, and besides offering a collection of works on our page, it will also link to other works out there that speak to the moment: visual arts, music videos, performances, interventions, creative actions of presence and protest on the ground, as well as already-published essays in English that have received attention among Iranians.

Poupeh Missaghi

a family collage behind a pair of eyes
Photo via Celina Naheed
Reasons I Feel like a Bad Iranian During a Revolution
By Celina Naheed
Because I fear for my family whose faces I only know from albums
Close-up of "#WomanLifeFreedom," Roya Amigh. Thread on paper, 2022. By arrangement with the artist.
By Roya Amigh
I aim to commemorate the many beloved lives taken from us during the “Woman, Life, Freedom” uprising in Iran. 
a barefoot man chained to a post
Photo via social media
By Mahdi Ganjavi
Oh Khodanur, / Your half-finished dance / Makes walking on earth unjust.
Translated from Persian by the author
A crop of the Stop Executions Poster depicting two hanging outlines over the words No more executions...
Poster designed by Iman Nabavi
Mornings of Hell in Iran
By Anonymous
Every night I wake up several times. I have nightmares of executions.
Translated from Persian by Poupeh Missaghi
Four girls with their backs turned to the camera holding up their headscarves with their hair down
Photo via social media
I Am a Witness
By Anonymous
An anonymous author reflects on their relationship to history and on what it means to both witness and participate in historic protests in Iran.
Translated from Persian by Poupeh Missaghi
A black wire bird against a colorful background
Photo via Khashayar “Kes” Mohammadi
Day by Day
By Saeed Tavanaee Marvi
The little girl told her mother: / I wish my hair was made of fire
Translated from Persian by Khashayar “Kes” Mohammadi