"The women who deserve to be in heaven, like pearls are hidden in the oyster."

Still from the video

Andaruni is a video/performance/installation in which I took a look at the concept of female identity and its borders (inside & outside) in my background country, Iran. I investigate the effects of socio-political factors on the concept of  political body and female identity by looking at the special Islamic metaphor about women in Iran. This phrase indicates women as pearls in the oyster and their value is connected to the position of the oyster. If one leaves the oyster, they may lose their value and go against socio-political expectations and rules.

In my origin country, the gap between outside and inside identity is enormous. Because of the unevenness (especially in terms of gender rights), society has so many layers and complexities such as having dual characteristics in public and in private. The government is very strict about certain issues specifically the ones related to public spaces. For example, women are not allowed to reveal their hair in public but they can do as they want in their houses. 

This is one of the most basic elements in defining the concepts of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ identity in Iranian women.

Still from the video

Andaruni is a Persian word that means the inner part of a house that belonged to women in old Iranian architecture.

The duality in the identity is mainly based on how Iranian women were treated throughout the history of the country. In the period of the Qajar dynasty in Iran (1789 to 1925) the women were not allowed to be seen by strangers and houses were built with two main sections: outer space (Biruni) and indoor space (Andaruni). Andaruni was considered as a private part and women could have freedom in that space without any special dress code or hijab, because stranger men were not allowed to enter that part.

performance/presentation during research hub in V2 -Rotterdam,2021

"Andaruni" full video

‘The real lives of Iranian female artists have been defined by politics. Their psyche is inextricable from the political framework, and any work emergent from a telling self reflects this intersection of political and personal. Symbols reside at this intersection. Notably, the veil, the hijab, is a repository for all kinds of personal and political meanings. Each nation, each era, and each person views the veil in a different light.’

Installation of "Andaruni"


Live Alone, Die Together

July 7th - July 11th

Willem Twee Kunstruimte
Boschdijkstraat 100, 5211 VD 's-Hertogenbosch