Maryam is an Iranian filmmaker and artist currently based in Los Angeles. Her journey as a filmmaker and artist began in Iran and brought her to Los Angeles, with a stopover in New York. Maryam’s art is a melting pot of ideas and voices from cultures around the world and was shaped by their upbringing in a place and time where women were expected to have neither. She became a filmmaker to amplify their own and women’s voices and has crossed the world.
Maryam realized that if they genuinely wanted to pursue their passion for filmmaking and art, she needed to do so without the limits and influence of her country’s Islamic and suppressive government. Therefore, she left their home country seven years ago.
The Islamic regime has been suppressing Iranian people, artists, intellectuals, and journalists to keep itself in power for over 40 years. However, the most recent women-led Iranian uprising against the authoritarian regime inspired Maryam as a filmmaker and artist in the diaspora and inspired everyone in the world.
As an Iranian female who has directly experienced the suppression and discrimination against women in Iran by the government, Maryam was so moved and touched by the main slogan of this rebellious movement: “Zan. Zendegi. Azadi,” which means “Woman. Life. Freedom.” This slogan became the central theme of the artworks she created that were inspired by this progressive movement.
“Art is one of the most peaceful forms of protest but is very effective. And Artists have played an important role in bringing the Iranian protester’s message to the fore. Even though the Iranian regime has shut down the Internet in order to stop people from sharing
videos of the protests and the government’s crackdown, many videos are still being shared on social media. Unfortunately most of the time these videos and images are so violent and sometimes difficult to watch. this is where artists can translate these gruesome images through their artwork, create a dialogue with the non-Iranian audience effectively and convey what’s happening in Iran in a more compelling way.”