Sheida Soleimami and Iranian Human Rights

SUU welcomed Sheida Soleimami to the school as the latest speaker for the Art Insights series on April 18.

Soleimami is the child of political refugees and has made a name for herself creating photographs that embody many of the human rights issues going on in Iran and the middle-east.

To create her artwork Soleimami focuses on a theme she would like to cover before creating a “set” where she arranges various images and props before photographing it.

One of her most famous series of work, “to oblivion”, focuses in on female victims who have been executed. Many of the pieces in this series feature images of the women printed out onto fabric dolls which were made with fabric to make people think of towels and a middle-eastern slur.

Soleimami is an educator alongside being an artist and hopes to better educate the western world about what is happening in the middle-east with her work.

Sheida Soleimami “There’s so many gaps in my own education…I wanted to bring that into my classrooms to at least see if my students had an interest in it.”

Her work is controversial and has garnered a number of death threats, so much so that she considered going a month without one a “high-point”.

Liv Braiker, a senior art major, was impressed with Soleimami and the event saying: “Her work puts herself in danger, but also that she’s so passionate that it doesn’t matter.”

All of Soleimami’s current work is available to view on her website.

This was the final Art Insights of the semester, but the event will return with the upcoming school year featuring a host of new speakers.


Story by: Alex Schilling
Photo by: Alex Schilling