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Freedom is not free
Mashid Mohadjerin


16/11/2021 - 28/02/2022

Pananti Atelier, Milano

What does freedom mean? Through the lens of her camera Mashid Mohadjerin explores stories of women in resistance in the Middle East and North Africa. Creating a multidimensional work which, through its varied formats such as photography, collage, text, and archival images, takes the viewer on a dreamlike journey neither bound by space nor time. Mashid’s work is permeated with the dueling nature of documentation and art, past and present, pain and joy, war and peace, loss and creation. The exhibition and the accompanying art-book focus on the private and public world of Iranian women who grew up after the Revolution of 1979 and on places of significance from Mashid’s childhood. For these women the political can no longer be separated from the personal - their bodies, their private and public life have been and continue to be influenced by the Revolution. Mashid Mohadjerin's works is part of an Artistic Doctoral Research at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Antwerp, which started as a research on female freedom fighters and culminated in a very personal journey to her native Iran.




Mashid Mohadjerin is an Iranian born photojournalist and portrait photographer based in Belgium. 

Her work explores the boundaries between art and documentary photography, focusing on social injustice, identity and resistance. Over the last 15 years she has produced work addressing topics such as migration, displacement, borders, cultural and social alienation and the quest for cultural identity. Her latest project is part of her PhD in the Arts, highlighting the role of women in recent uprisings and revolutions in the Middle East and beyond. She is questioning photographic representations of the Middle East and beyond and keeps exploring new ways to visualize these complex issues. Her projects and assignments have taken her around the world to hotbed regions in central Asia, West Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and throughout the United States. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and featured in publications such as The New York Times, Newsweek, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, La Domenica di Repubblica, The Globe & Mail, the BBC. She received first prize in the Contemporary Issues category at the World Press Photo Awards 2009, among other prices and grants. Her work is shown in galleries, festivals and museums such as BOZAR Center for the Arts (Brussels), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Antwerp), Fotolegendo (Rome), Kunsthal Extra City (Antwerp), Red Star Line Museum, Noorderlicht Festival (NL) and is part of private and institutional collections. In 2021 she finalized her PhD in the Arts. Her resulting artist monograph “Freedom is Not Free” wins the Rencontres d’Arles Author’s Book Award in the same year. This is her third Photo Book.

Video stills

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