Iranian artists AIDA and Nesa Azadikhah have released a new electronic music compilation in support of the women’s rights movement in Iran.
The pair launched their new label Apranik Records with the release last week (January 20). The 12-track collection, entitled ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’, features all female Iranian artists, including SarrSew, Sharona Lico, XEEN, Kimia Koochakzadeh-Yazdi and ROW92, as well as label heads Azadikhah and AIDA.
AIDA and Azadikhah have dedicated the collection to the uprisings in Iran as protests against the treatment of women continue.
In a post on Instagram about the record the pair wrote: “’Woman Life Freedom’ [consists] of tracks from 12 Iranian women producers. Today also marks the 126th day since beginning of recent uprisings in Iran, and the killing of Mahsa Zhina Amini. This uprising, our anger and hope to raise awareness through music is the reason for us founding this record label.
“After 3 months of work, we are proud to announce that the full release is finally available for purchase and playback. As a group of Iranian women, this fight is closest to our hearts. We release this collection in solidarity and towards a fight for a free Iran and aim to raise awareness about this revolution through music.
“The theme of this collection is power, defiance, and ferocity and can be heard across all of the tracks. This is the energy with which Iranian women continue to push for freedom. We dream of a future where women and girls can openly and safely practice, grow, and shine within arts, especially electronic music. From us to you and to a free Iran. A major thank you goes to all involved.”
On Bandcamp, they added: “Throughout Iranian history, women have been at the forefront of music and performing arts. However, in the past 44 years under the Islamic regime, women in Iran have been banned from singing, dancing, and performance.
“Facing threats to the safety of themselves and their families, to their career and reputation, female artists are forced to quit, leave Iran, or to go underground facing grave risks. Despite this, Iranian women have remained active and at the forefront of their art, pushing boundaries from Iran and different corners of the world.
“Iran has risen up to a revolution. On September 16, 2022, A young girl named Mahsa Jina Amini was killed in the hands of Iran’s morality police, a police force assigned to enforce Islamic dress codes on women through harassment methods.
“Since then, major protests have broken out across the country and throughout the world. What started as a spark in protesting justice for Mahsa Amini has since turned into a revolution with people fearlessly protesting across the country. Government forces have brutally killed, arrested, and tortured many protestors including children and teengars. Despite this, the protests are getting larger and larger and the fight for freedom of oppression for women and girls has become the greatest of its kind throughout history.
“As a group of Iranian women, this fight is closest to our hearts. We release this collection in solidarity and towards a fight for a free Iran. We dream of a future where women and girls can openly and safely practice, grow, and shine within arts, especially electronic music. From us to you, the free and soon-to-be free world, and to a free Iran.”
You can buy the compilation here. Apranik Records will donate proceeds from the compilation to charities helping women in Iran.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, more than 50 figures from the entertainment industry have participated in a video in which they each hold up a piece of paper featuring the handwritten hashtag #StopExecutionsInIran.
The project was organised and produced by Iranian-American screenwriter Nicole Najafi, director, writer and producer Ana Lily Amirpour, and actress-writer Mozhan Marnò.
“We stand with the people of Iran in their fight for freedom,” an onscreen message reads. “Thousands of protesters have been arrested. Some have already been executed. Many more are in danger. But the world is watching.”
Marnò told THR that the aim of the video is “to get as many eyes on this issue as possible, and in so doing, make the Islamic Republic feel the pressure – the international community is watching”.
She continued: “The other purpose of this is to show Iranians in Iran that the world is with them; that they are not forgotten; that their protests and suffering are not in vain. They are out there in the streets risking their lives, and it has been going on for months now.
“We can’t underestimate the mental and physical stamina that takes.”