Rosita Sharafjahan, Hurrah, 2006, 3:51
Rosita Sharafjahan emerged as an artist in Tehran concurrently with the 1979 revolution. Criticality incited by this sociopolitical upheaval continues to be the premise of her own art practice, and underlies the programming at the Azad Gallery she founded and directs, which asserts independence from political constrains and market interests alike, and seeks to provide a space for uninhibited discussion. One example is a project by Shahab Fotouhi in 2009, in which the artist turned the gallery into a presidential campaign center for the candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi. Sharafjahan is among a number of socially engaged artists in Iran who dare to look the public in the eye. Her video Hurrah (2006), comprising footage of crowds of sports fans passionately supporting their teams, with flags and other paraphernalia in stadiums and streets, is eerily evocative of images of crowds engaged in a different yet similarly expressed euphoria and unity in political upheavals—such as images from Iran that flooded media screens around the world in 2009; and again with uprisings of the Arab Spring.