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I AM. . . Inspired

Photographs, paper, cardboard and mirrors inside an acrylic box

40 x 40 x 10 cm

This installation celebrates the extraordinary drive, strength, resilience and passion of female compatriots. I chose a clear trophy case to symbolically showcase women who have contributed to their community and field in most diverse ways, people whose aspirations and achievements can be inspirational to us all.

Mirrors have been placed throughout and at all angles so that all viewers see a part of themselves in each of these women. They are invited to peer in and reflect on all facets. Finally, I felt compelled to also use humble packing material (cardboard box & paper filler) hinting to the fact that some of us live in exile and may have transient homes.  

Featured women: just a few of the many role models we can be inspired by.

Anousheh Ansari                                                                        Christiane Amanpour                                                                

Engineer and businesswoman, first Iranian in space                Journalist, Chief International Correspondent for CNN        


Farah Pahlavi                                                                              Gisue & Mojgan Hariri

Queen consort, contributed to improving education, art,           Architects, sisters who built an architectural firm

culture and women’s rights


Haleh Esfandiari                                                                         Mahnaz Afkhami

Director of the Middle East Program at the                                Former Minister of Women’s Affairs, founder of Women’s

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars                    Learning Partnership

Maryam Mirzakhani                                                                    Masih Alinejad

Mathematician, first female Fields Medal winner                       Writer, Founder of My Stealthy Freedom movement


Monir Farman Farman                                                                 Sareh Javanmardi    

Artist                                                                                           Athlete, 2012 and 2016 Summer Paralympic medalist


Shirin Neshat                                                                              Zahra Nemati 

Artist                                                                                           Athlete, 2012 and 2016 Summer Paralympic medalist


I AM, Azadeh Ghotbi
Azadeh Ghotbi

I experienced revolution, loss, exile, and the idiosyncrasies of feeling proud of one’s heritage yet stateless early in life. I left Iran at an age when one is too young to make life-changing decisions yet old enough to suffer their consequences. I left behind everything I knew, cared for, and took for granted. The “present” and the beautiful prospect its future held were wiped forever at that very moment. 


The passing of time has only made me further appreciate and cherish the importance of history, roots and cultural ties. Diaspora, statelessness, transience, lack of continuity are my “normal”.  However, I have found that such experience can bear unexpected gifts of strength, adaptability, empathy, and a heightened sense of observation. The cumulative effect of all this imparts and reflects itself upon my work. .


Azadeh’s work has been exhibited in Amsterdam, Basel, Cairo, Dubai, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Tehran. 

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