My name is fear

sima choubdarzadeh

2016 - Ongoing

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?” When I was 26, after all those fears and tragedies, I decided to stop saying my prayers and fearing God and Hell.

One day my husband locked me up in the house to stop me from reading books, going to the university, seeing my family, and involving 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.

As if “fear” is the other name for me.

I had not paid attention to the rules and traditions before my marriage, which ended up to a tragic divorce, shortly after. I was living in a swamp, alive but unaware. I was just like grass that had grown in a swamp, 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 principals have been implemented to the constitution by the Islamic Republic of Iran. For example, based on the inequality between men and woman, 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.

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  • Maryam is looking her son who is playing at the alley.

  • Atefeh is brought up in religious and traditional family. She always tries and fights to develop her logic and her life style. Her husband did not allowe her to continue her university. And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah's wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing. Ahzab chapter of Quran 33.

  • I fear some people who fight with their nature

  • Mitra has not been allowed to meet her son after her divorce. She is tattooing her son’s name and her name in her hand. “Civil Code 1314 of Article 1169 states that custody of a son to 2 years of age and a daughter to 7 years of age has been entrusted to the mother and that the custody of the child is with the father after the expiry of this period.”

  • plague

  • Masumeh was hit due to noticing her spouse has another wife. “Men are the protectors of women because of the greater preference that God has given to some of them and because they financially support them. Among virtuous women are those who are steadfast in prayer and dependable in keeping the secrets that God has protected. Admonish women who disobey (God's laws), do not sleep with them and beat them. If they obey (the laws of God), do not try to find fault in them. God is High and Supreme” Nisa chapter of Quran 34

  • Sana is 20 years old. She is always shamed when a man who wants to see her naked before marriage. The request of the suitors to observe the girls in thin dresses is no obstacle. “And say to the believing women, that they lower their gaze cast down their eyes and guard their chastity, and do not reveal their adornment except that which is outward (face and hands); and let them draw their veils over their neck, and not reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or what their right hands own, or such male attendants having no sexual desire, or children who have not yet attained knowledge of women's private parts; nor let them stamp their feet, so that their hidden ornament is known. And, O believers turn to Allah all together, in order that you prosper.” Al-Nur chapter of the quran31

  • i fear that i can not fly...

  • The teenage girl, Romina Ashrafi, was murdered by her father as an act of "honor killing" in May in northern Iran's rural Talesh county 2020

  • This is me, Sima. I am not religious person nor prostitute. I have taken off cruel costume. “Get married to virgin women because their mouths are sweeter and more compassionate. They learn something early and their love is more enduring” Prophet Muhammad said.

  • child marriage. Sharia-based Iranian law states that the legal age for marriage is 13 for girls and 15 for boys, but marriages can still be carried out at a younger age with the consent of fathers and permission from court judges.

  • Sahar Khodayari , also known as Blue Girl,[a] was an Iranian woman known for setting herself on fire in front of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran on 2 September 2019. She was protesting a possible sentence of six months in prison for having tried to enter a public stadium to watch a football game, against the national ban against women at such events.[3][4] She died a week later of her injuries. Khodayari's self-immolation has generated much debate in Iran about the government's restrictions on women.

  • This is a commandment from your Lord: After the payment of debts or anything bequeathed, let the male inherit twice as much as the female… Quran

  • There is no asylum

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