MY NAME IS FEAR
I was seven years old when I got sacred for the first time. I was getting back from school when my friend told me: “Did you know that if you reveal your hair out of your scarf, God will punish you by hanging you from it?” One day my husband locked me up in the house to stop me from reading books, going to the university, seeing my family, and getting involved with society. It was the same day when an earthquake hit our city and I was locked up in a house on the 10th floor. The thing that I was most worried about was finding the safest place to stand on but at once I felt an empty space beneath my feet and now that is how I am afraid of people and events like quakes. I had not paid attention to the rules and traditions before my marriage, which ended up in a tragic divorce, shortly after. I was living in a swamp, alive but unaware with no roots and identity. My whole identity was defined by my father’s name, my husband’s name, and my future unborn son. The focus in my story and photos is on the rules and the traditions that are stemmed from religions, and the religious principles. Some of these religious teachings have established the inequality between men and women. These religious principles have been implemented to the constitution by the Islamic Republic of Iran. For example, based on the inequality between men and women, men inherit twice the women, and also are entitled to the blood money twice the women. Unquestionably, these unjust laws have contributed tremendously toward violence and discrimination against women. Many women are in the government prison as guilty of showing their hair. All they wanted was to let the breeze dance with their hair. Singing is forbidden for girls and women. Some girls dream of going to college, but found themselves in the bridal gowns being forced to arranged marriages. In this swamp, freedom is suffocated in the womb. There is no space to develop and grow. The tyrant governments always use the religion as the best and strongest lever to control the people.
Sima Choubdarzadeh is a master of art in philosophy. She has been working with photography since 2014. She has a photography certificate from provincial society artistic photography. Sima took part in 3 group exhibitions. She took first place of reward from Meshgin Shahr festival 2016 and Sheed award in Iran 2017. She was among honorable mention during the 15th Julia Margaret Cameron Award in the open theme category in 2020. She was the member of the VII academy as a scholarship in No man’s land 2020. Her project “My name is fear” has also been exhibited at Format Festival in Derby in March 2021.