[spectre] Fwd: Women Reflected in Their Own History

Andreas Broeckmann ab at mikro.in-berlin.de
Mon Oct 17 07:13:58 CEST 2022

Betreff: 	e-flux Notes: Women Reflected in Their Own History
Datum: 	Sat, 15 Oct 2022 16:01:11 +0000
Von: 	e-flux <info at mailer.e-flux.com>

e-flux Notes

Women Reflected in Their Own History


This text was originally published in Persian on the Iranian feminist 
platform Harass Watch, on September 28, 2022. The first English 
translation of the text was published on the Arab ezine Jadaliyya on 
October 5, 2022.

For Zhina, Niloufar, Elaheh, Mahsa, Elmira, and those whose names I 
haven’t yet uttered.

What follows is an attempt to understand what one intuits about a 
gap—the gap between watching videos and photographs of the protests and 
being in the street. This is an attempt to elaborate the short circuit 
between these two arenas, those of the virtual space and the street, in 
this historical moment. I must stress that what I have witnessed and 
been inspired by might not necessarily apply to other cities. I live in 
a small town that differs from bigger cities or even other smaller ones 
in terms of the location where protests usually take place. This text is 
not intended to universalize this situation towards a general 
conclusion, but to elaborate on this particular situation and the 
influence it has had on me.

The protests reached my little town after breaking out in Kurdistan and 
Tehran. For some days I encountered videos of protests on the streets, 
passionate songs, photographs, and the figures of militant women, and on 
Wednesday eventually I found myself in a street protest. It was very 
strange: the first moments of being /there/, on the street, surrounded 
by the protesters whom until yesterday I had watched and admired on the 
screen of a phone—astonished by their courage, I had grieved and cried 
for them. I was looking around and was trying to synchronize the images 
of the street with its reality. What I saw was very similar to what I 
had watched before, but there was a gap between my watching self and my 
self on the street, and I needed a few moments to register it. The 
street wasn’t the bearer of horror anymore, but just an ordinary space. 
Everything was ordinary, even when those with batons, guns, and shock 
prods were attacking to disperse us. I don’t know how to describe the 
word “ordinary,” or what better synonym to use in its place. The 
distance between myself and those images that I was desiring had 
decreased. I was that image, I was coming to my senses and realizing 
that I am in a ring of women burning headscarves, as if I had always 
been doing that before. I was coming to my senses and realizing I was 
being beaten a few moments ago.

Read the full text on e-flux Notes.

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