Behnaz Fatemi’s Voices of a Revolution is a wearable sound sculpture dedicated to the ‘Woman Life Freedom’ revolution in Iran. When worn, the large pyramid shaped “helmet” plays sounds documented during Waterloo Region protests that occurred in response to the devastating death of Mahsa (Jina) Amini, which sparked mass outcry all over the world. The installation serves as a personal tribute by Fatemi to the bravery and resilience of the protesters, especially women, in Iran who have risked taking to the streets in the face of extreme adversity.
The helmet represents a strong and safe place of refuge through its evocation of concrete, a refuge from the extreme stress, tension and trauma the artist and many in Iran experience daily while loved ones are lost or in danger. The interactive installation welcomes participants into its isolated atmosphere, facilitating a space where the wearer can immerse themselves into an auditory world of chants and slogans evoking these mass protests around the world through a soundtrack of resistance. Through this installation, Fatemi endeavours to shed light on the experiences of those who live under oppressive regimes and to raise awareness about the importance of protecting civil rights and social freedoms, amplifying the voices of the revolution.
Behnaz Fatemi is an Iranian artist who moved to Canada in 2018. She graduated from the University of Guilan, Iran, with a BFA in studio arts. Fatemi is doing her MFA in studio arts at University of Waterloo. As an interdisciplinary artist, she works across various mediums and techniques, mainly in drawing, sculpture, and installation.
Fatemi's work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions throughout Iran and Canada. She was the 2020-2021 Kitchener Artist in Residence, working on immigrant- and immigration-related themes. In the same year, she was an Art$Pay Artist in Incubator program supported by the Region of Waterloo. In November 2020, Fatemi received Arts Awards Waterloo Region in the Emerging Artist category. She has also received several grants for her projects; in particular, Fatemi was awarded the Region of Waterloo 2023 Art Funds for her proposal to study lived experiences of immigrants and newcomers in oppressive regimes.
This project is made possible through the support of the Good Foundation, Region of Waterloo Arts Fund and the Keith and Winifred Shantz fund for the arts held by Waterloo Region Community Foundation.