(LONDON, England)— The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after the Iranian morality police arrested her for improper wearing of the hijab set off a wave of protests around the world. Her death also prompted several women in the U.K. to collaborate on a new book, “Woman, Life, Freedom: Voices and Art from the Women’s Protests in Iran.”
The book features first-hand stories from women who participated in the protests in Iran and their reaction to the country’s political instability and culture. Several contributors spoke at The Wimbledon Book Festival event on Saturday, Oct. 15th which drew about 100 people.
Editor Malu Halasa and illustrator Roshi Rouzbehani said they wanted to let Iranian women tell their stories in their own words, with some of the women writing anonymously.
Rouzbehani discussed her digital drawings, which illustrate the book, including one of women cutting their hair in the protests, as the act is seen as “a traditional sign of going to war or mourning,” she said.
Another one of Rouzbehani’s illustrations sparked conversation because it featured sanitary pads. She explained that during the Tehran protests, some women covered the subway CCTV cameras with sanitary pads to avoid being identified.
Performance artist Fari Bradley said the book shed new light on the power of protests as Iranians previously were “not a political people, we don’t like to rock the boat.”