The Florence Biennale condemns the repressive actions of the Iranian regime against women and morally supports the protests that are taking place in Iran. This is why we have decided to adhere to the petition launched by the artist Amir Shayesteh Tabar ('Lorenzo il Magnifico' Award from the President at the 7th Florence Biennale 2009), which we share through our channels and which we hope will gain maximum circulation in the international art community and keep the attention focused on the drama taking place within Iran's borders.
For its 14th edition (14-22 October 2023), the Florence Biennale has also decided to dedicate an exhibition space to the 'Women's Revolution' through the selection of works by Iranian women artists.
Florence Biennale has already demonstrated its sensitivity to these issues in the past and is not new to similar initiatives. These include, on the occasion of the 10th edition in 2015, the presence of Morehshin Allahyari, a young Iranian artist who was the guest of honour at the event and presented in Florence her work Re Uthal, a copy of the series "Material Speculation: ISIS (work in progress)": thanks to 3D printer technology, the artist recreated in her laboratory copies of some sculptures destroyed in the Mosul Museum by ISIS in March 2015. Morehshin Allahyari received the 'Special Award' from the President of the Florence Biennale for her commitment to the protection of cultural heritage. An artist, activist, educator and curator, the artist focuses on the cultural, social and political contradictions of our times using technology as a potential poetic tool with which to bear witness to the existential issues, both individual and collective, of 21st century human beings.
At the 11th edition in 2017, a number of participating Syrian artists received a Special Mention from the Jury, as a sign of their closeness to their people and the difficult historical moment they were experiencing with the Syrian civil war.
Also in 2017, the 'Kabul art project in Florence' initiative promoted by the Florence Court of Appeal on the occasion of the 'European Day of Justice' (25 October 2017), which saw the involvement of the Municipality of Florence and the Florence Biennale, should also be mentioned. The protagonist of the initiative was Shamsia Hassani - the first and only female street artist working in the difficult context of the city of Kabul, Afghanistan - who on that occasion created her first and only mural in Italy, a direct expression of the need to reaffirm the values of justice and equality.