If you have been keeping up with the news lately, then you’re probably aware of the massive protests in Iran and other nations sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who was allegedly killed by police brutality, for the crime of not following the Iranian dress code for women properly, specifically in regards to her hijab. Amini was then arrested, and, according to the police, she suffered from a heart attack while in police custody, and three days later, she passed away. The police’s statement on Amini’s death has been proven to be at least somewhat of a lie as Amini’s family stated that Amini had no health issues that could have sparked a heart attack, and it was found that there are bruises on Amini’s body that show that she was likely beaten by the officers either while being arrested or while in custody, which either induced a heart attack or was the cause of death.
I wanted to write about these protests, because just a few years ago I did a research project for school on Iranian women who were protesting by taking off their hijabs in opposition to the Iranian dress code in 2017. The Mahsa Amini protests however, are on a much larger scale, and have gained the attention of many other nations, something that didn’t really happen with previous similar protests. This post is a mostly visual telling of the Mahsa Amini protests, specifically the ones in Iran.
The Iranian protests are centered in Tehran, Iran’s capital, the same city where Mahsa Amini died.
Protests have taken place in the streets of Tehran, where officers and protesters have gone head to head, and reportedly, at least 92 protesters have been killed in Iran’s protest so far.
Mahsa Amini has become the face of protests in opposition to Iran’s laws and policies that control women and their bodies. Pictures of her are put on signs, as in the photo above, and on social media, the hashtags #MahsaAmini and #IamMahsaAmini have gone viral, as people have shown their support for those fighting against Iran’s laws.
Protesters in Tehran have taken to the streets and retaliated by destroying police property and government property, to which police and government officials have responded by harming and arresting these protesters.
Women in Iran and across the world have been cutting their hair in retaliation, reclaiming control over their bodies. Women on social media have uploaded videos of them cutting their hair as well, showing solidarity with the protesters.
I tried to make this post a more visual telling of the Mahsa Amini protests, and with that in mind, I chose these photos and arranged them in a way that hopefully read like a story. By starting with general photos of Tehran, then moving to pictures of Mahsa Amini, background was provided. Then the photos of the protest from the street view gave perspective to what the streets of Tehran look like now, and the last two pictures narrowed it done to the individual women, and the way that they are retaliating, as women are the ones who have been leading the fight against the hijab and women’s rights in general in Iran.
Images are such a powerful way of telling a story, especially when the story they’re telling is one that is occurring very far away from you. To be able to see what is happening in an entirely different nation, and the movement that is happening in Iran so clearly through a screen is incredible. Images have a way of conveying emotions and communicating with the audience in a way that words can not achieve. Visual reporting is a powerful way of reporting events, and as someone who generally doesn’t like to read too many words on a screen, seeing everything through images is much preferred. It also makes the events that much more real, as reading about an event can allow you to visualize what is happening, but to be able to actually see it in photos makes you realize how real the event actually is.