Divine Violence / Jin, Jîyan, Azadî (ژن، ژیان، ئازادی)

Curated by Gülistan Kenanoğlu

Anonymous, Graffiti on a wall, 2023
Divine Violence is conceived around “Jin, Jîyan, Azadî (ژن، ژیان، ئازادی),” or “Women, Life, Freedom.” Not just a slogan; “Jin, Jîyan, Azadî (ژن، ژیان، ئازادی),” is the discourse that came to light following the killing of a woman, Mahsa Amini, at the age of 22 by morality police in Iran. The phrase defines the actions taken by women toward freedom and gender equality in the Islamic state. The death of Amini, was the sacrification of the woman, which is both sanctified and cursed. In other words, the finger cut by the Sharia doesn’t hurt. The action ignited the feminist revolutionary struggle in Iran.

This exhibition seeks to investigate the ordinary and extraordinary emancipatory actions for women's lives and freedom in the Middle East from post-revolutionary Iran to today. Moreover, this exhibition will provide an alternative reading of Middle Eastern history through the lens of Islamic feminism and feminist solidarity. The controversial role of Middle Eastern women in the Islamic world will be critiqued. The geography of violence will be reinterpreted through the narratives, realities, testimonies, and distorted memories in Islamic feminist history.

The exhibition brings together an artist/lawyer SB Arch Lab, a researcher/curator Gülistan Kenanoğlu, and an artist/architect Çağlar Hanaylı who stand opposite the feudal, sexist, and patriarchal system. Through their similar stories and the stories they have witnessed they will reinterpret Islamic feminist history through the lens of women’s liberation.

  • artists:
    Çağlar Hanaylı
    SB Arch Lab
    Gülistan Kenanoğlu
Gülistan Kenanoğlu is a Kurdish independent curator and architectural researcher. She works under SBArchLab, of which she is the co-founder, and specializes in exhibition practices around postcolonial art and architecture history and the effects of conflicts/wars on cities' public realm.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include the National Endowment for the Arts, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Kettering Family Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, The Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Spencer Brownstone, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, The Puffin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and administered by LMCC, funds from NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.