The Woman, Life, Freedom Uprising

March 03, 2023

About this event


Waving headscarves in the air in the cemetery in Kurdistan, women and men chanted “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi” (Woman, Life, Freedom) to protest the brutal murder of Jina (Mahsa) Amini under police custody. That was the moment that fueled what would become the “Woman, Life, Freedom uprising” in Iran, followed by waves of countrywide protests initiated by women activists inside Iran. The movement has brought different socio-political dissidents together, aiming to undermine the long-lasting theocratic regime in Iran and seeking freedom and justice. Almost six months after the birth of “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement, we are gathering to collectively reflect on the multiple grievances that caused the uprising and the horizons that it opens up to the future. This symposium aims to critically engage with the questions that might illuminate the possible directions that the uprising might take in the months or years to come.

The symposium will feature two panel discussions, a networking session for students and a book talk. Lunch will be served. See the full schedule below.

Panel #1

Kristin Soraya Batmanghelichi (University of Oslo) discussing Mothers of "Martyrs": Publicizing Dissent in Sorrow

Peyman Vahabzadeh (University of Victoria) discussing Woman Life Freedom: An Alternative View

Azam Khatam (York University) discussing Jina Movement in Iran: A Youth Uprising beyond the Large Cities

Panel #2

Frieda Afary (Librarian, writer, and independent scholar based in Los Angeles)discussing How Can the Current Uprising in Iran Move in the Direction of an Actual Feminist Revolution?

Sama Khosravi Ooryad (University of Gothenburg) discussing Intentional Ignorance, Political Epistemicide: The Violence of Representation and Co-option in the Woman, Life, Freedom Movement

Jaffer Sheyholislami (Carleton University) discussing Struggle for Linguistic Justice and Freedom in the Face of Assimilationist Policies in Iran: Kurdish as an Example

Networking Event

Want to get some feedback on your project or research from one of our panelists, or simply connect with your fellow students? Join us from 3:30-5PM for a networking session with four of our panelists and share what you've been working on! This event will be of particular interest to graduate students, but all students are welcome!

Book talk with Kristin Soraya Batmanghelichi

Join us from 6-7:30PM for a conversation with author Kristin Soraya Batmanghelichi where she'll be discussing her book Revolutionary Bodies. This book event will be moderated by Dr. Azadeh Yamini-Hamedani from the Department of World Languages and Literature at SFU.

Gender and sexuality in modern Iran is frequently examined through the prism of nationalist symbols and religious discourse from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this book, Kristin Soraya Batmanghelichi takes a different approach, by interrogating how normative ideas of women's bodies in state, religious, and public health discourses have resulted in the female body being deemed as immodest and taboo. Through a diverse blend of sources -a popular cultural women's journal, a red-light district, cases studies of temporary marriages, iconic public statues, and an HIV-AIDS advocacy organization in Tehran - this work argues that conceptions of gender and sexuality have been mediated in public discourse and experienced and modified by women themselves over the past thirty years of the Islamic Republic.Expanding upon existing philosophical theory, technological research and scholarship on gender and sexuality in Iran, this book focuses much needed attention on under-studied, marginalized communities, such as widows living with HIV. This work interrogates how bodily technologies are constructed discursively and socially in Iran and the values and perspectives which are incorporated in them.

Venue: SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, ICBC Concourse room,

580 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3