Open letter from Amir Shayesteh Tabar - FB

Winner of the "Lorenzo Il Magnifico" Award, Special Commendation from the President at the VII Florence Biennale 2009

Art has been a catalyst for change throughout history, shaping the course of societies and politics.

From ancient China and the Persian Empire to the cultural zenith of ancient Greece and the monumental Roman Empire, and continuing through to our present time, such as modern civil rights movements today, artists have consistently harnessed their creativity as a powerful tool to challenge oppressive forces and trigger social and political change.

In the heart of ancient Greece, playwrights like Aristophanes, with wit and dignity, used their pens as swords, employing satire to expose political and moral failures and reveal the corruption in the ruling class. 

Centuries later, during the Renaissance, artists such as Michelangelo and da Vinci conveyed their messages through their works. Michelangelo's "David" symbolized Florentine independence, while da Vinci's "The Last Supper" subtly addressed political turmoil.

Francisco Goya's powerful works protested violence and oppression, leaving an indelible mark on the history of art.

In the context of the French Revolution, the paintings of Jacques-Louis David served as a powerful catalyst for revolutionary sentiments among the French revolutionaries. 

As we navigate further through history, during the early 20th century, artists associated with the Russian Revolution, such as Dmitri Moor and El Lissitzky, played instrumental roles in mobilizing the masses.

Picasso's "Guernica" transformed the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, bearing witness to the suffering of innocent souls.

In Mexico, Diego Rivera's murals told the stories of the struggles of the working class and indigenous people with bold and unapologetic strokes.

And then, in recent times, we have encountered our 'unknown' friend:  Banksy! 
Who could have ever imagined the power and global reach of an ‘anonymous street artist’?

This is the power of art! and the remarkable influence of artists over the course of our civilization.

This is the path  that history's greatest artists have walked, leaving an unforgettable mark on the track of history.

A power that transcends borders, ideologies, and oppressors; 

A power that goes beyond any distinctions of race, skin color, gender, language, religion and  belief.

When we examine history, it becomes clear that in the struggle between art and oppressive dictatorships, art emerges as the ultimate victor.

Nevertheless, today, this incredible power of change, will remain a hollow promise unless you believe in yourself and have faith in the common values shared by people around the globe, as a human.

With simple artistic tools, no matter where you are on planet earth, you can create and convey the very essence of freedom and fundamental human rights with global impact!

With art, you have the power to become a voice of the voiceless.

Totalitarian regimes frequently exhibit tendencies to eliminate freedom of speech, detain dissidents, and enforce their self-made rules and political and cultural doctrines upon their citizens. They harness cutting-edge technologies, originally designed to improve human lives, to exert control and oppress their own nations and artists. They exploit the resources of their own citizens, including the resources of future generations, to maintain their grip on power.

But despite the desires of dictators, people in various countries and throughout history have repeatedly shown that ordinary people can overcome dictators.

Freedom stands as a timeless promise given by divinity to mankind!

The Woman-Life-Freedom movement, the fight against racism, the struggle for equality and Refugee Rights, along with numerous other humanitarian movements, serve as powerful evidence of the significant impact of artists and the profound power of art worldwide.

In today’s uncertain world, I humbly request everyone, particularly independent thinkers and artists, to support non-violence movements for human basic rights in pursuit of a better world.

I will stand with my brothers and sisters, with great nations from the Middle East: In Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, till Latin America, in Cuba, Argentina and Mexico, from Eastern Europe and  Russia, till Eurasia,  Central Asia and  Mongolia, from the Far East, in North Korea and China, till Myanmar and Cambodia, 
Even in Europe and America, where the free world is facing new threats by radicals and radicalism today.

Without securing basic human rights in various societies on a global scale, we will not be able to effectively address genuine human struggles and future threats, such as climate change, displacements of people, food security, access to clean water, and high-quality education.

Ultimately, this is essential for the pursuit of lasting and sustainable peace on Earth.

This is a call for a new era… A call for a new human civilization.

Together, we can shape a better world for ourselves and future generations. The time for change is now, and it starts with you. Thank you!

With my deepest gratitude, 
Amir Shayesteh Tabar

28 August 2023      
Munich - Germany
"Women. Life. Freedom", 
Amir Shayesteh Tabar
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