On March 8, International Women's Day, 'Qoqnoos - You Can't Burn Women Made of Fire' opened its doors in Melkweg Expo - a multimedia exhibition curated by Iranian-Dutch photographer and filmmaker Tina Farifteh. The exhibition provided a space for the most relevant feminist movement of our time: the protests in Iran. Today we look back on two months that showcased the endless power of female resistance.

A special and warm thank you to all the participating artists of this exhibition: Afsaneh Ghafarian Rabe'I, Elnaz Assar, Golshan, Nastaran Razawi Khorasani & Davy Pieters, Newsha Tavakolian, Niloofar Azimian, Sara Kazemimanesh and Tina Farifteh. It has been a pleasure to exhibit the work of such an inspiring group of Iranian female artists. The courage you have shown to share your stories has been overwhelming. 

Of course we would also like to thank all the visitors who have shown their immense support, and spread the word about this important and urgent exhibition. We hope to welcome you back soon to our upcoming exhibition “Like A River”, which will open on Saturday 10 June.

“Thank you for all that is done to empower the women of Iran, and uplift their voices, experiences & artistic expression”

“Much respect from my mother and me, her daughter. Jin, Jîyan, Azadî.”

"I feel connected to you through your art"

"What an amazing exhibition, it touched me to my core, thank you. Iran - I wish you the bright future you deserve"


-Messages from our Expo guestbook

Women have been resisting since I was born, and long before.
Iranian women fight every day.

In their private lives.
And in their public life.

They have resisted through the hair sticking out of their headscarves, the length of their mantos, the color of their lips, the length of their nails, the thickness of their stockings.
And now they resist by not wearing a scarf at all. 

They resist by reading poetry, singing, dancing, laughing, working, cycling, swimming. 
They resist by raising children with free and independent minds.

All the women who resist: invisibly, subtly, day-by-day. 
And all the women who resist openly, systematically and visibly. 

Using their bodies, art, education, words, images and their creativity as weapons. 
Resisting by having hope. By simply being women.

Fighting for their own freedom.
For the freedom of their children.

For the freedom of all women.
For the freedom of all of us.

Millimetre by millimetre, they claw back space. 
Each millimetre they gain, they defend and don't return. 

THEY have fertilized the soil for this revolution.
THEY are the mothers and grandmothers of the generation now fighting in the vanguard.

-Tina Farifteh, curator and participating artist

A dancing crowd within the Melkweg with a single singer on the stage.

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