PublicationNotes #7

Notes #7

Ecofeminist Horizons

I take the unripe ears of wheat
under my breast
and nurse them
Forough Farrokhzad (1934-1967)

Nargess Hashemi’s work The House’s Green Dream (2020) seamlessly weaves together the fundamental human need for shelter with contemporary art. Her remarkable installations, crafted from crocheted multi-colored threads and recycled plastics, create a space that shields, nurtures, and encourages observation and interaction. The Breathing House (2018) extends an open invitation to visitors, inviting them to collectively engage with the installation. This piece was brought to life by the artist and her sisters, who came together to craft these distinctive creations. Each work in this series of installations is the product of numerous collaborative sessions during family gatherings, reinvigorating the art of traditional crafts.

Notes #7, and the last issue under the theme of “balance,” reflects the rising influence of women artists in Iran whose work addresses ecological concerns. In “Femme/Terre/Égalité”, Sahar Samadian explores Nargess Hashemi’s spectacular and versatile work based on the utopian idea of a future city. Persbook Annual of Contemporary Art is also featured as a distinctive event at the intersection of contemporary art, ecological issues, and women’s perspectives, which takes place every year in Iran.

Those featured in this issue have been selected from a vast and growing number of practitioners. Using a range of artistic techniques, these artists intertwine environmental and gender-related issues, delving into the connections that women have to nature and the roles they can play in addressing ecological challenges. Their work spans diverse media, including painting, sculpture, installation, and participatory projects, as well as crafts traditionally associated with women, such as embroidery, knitting, and quilting. Many of these artists follow and promote the effort to reduce or cut the environmental impact of cultural and artistic production, as exemplified in Persbook Annual’s “zero-waste” theme.

This issue draws significant inspiration from the principles of ecofeminism, which combines elements of feminism and environmentalism to explore and highlight how the lives of women and the life of the planet are entangled and how both are exploited and oppressed by patriarchal and capitalist systems. Amidst the complexities of Iran’s present eco-political landscape, ecofeminism stands out as a compelling force capable of offering a distinctively insightful and liberating perspective, which not only addresses the environmental and gender-related challenges but also serves as a beacon of hope for broader societal transformation.

Helia Darabi, “Ecofeminist Horizons: Editorial,” NOTES #7 (November 2023); published on, October 27, 2023.

Header image: Pooneh Oshidari, Mom is tired, 2021. Monotype and ink on cardboard, 70 × 100 cm. Courtesy of the artist.