French Street Artist JR Creates Pop-up Installations Against Iranian Censorship

Street artist JR
Street artist JR

On Tuesday the French, Brooklyn-based street artist JR was due to create two pop-up outdoor installations in New York—one in front of the United Nations at 43rd Street and First Avenue, and the other the Lower East Side at Houston Street and Bowery—featuring images of eleven artists, activists, scientists, feminists, and journalists currently being detained by the Iranian government. According to the New York Times, the installations were also to include photos of two teachers who were recently executed, with red paint splashed on the portraits to symbolize their deaths.

The installations are the result of a collaboration between JR and the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) to raise awareness about censorship and the imprisonment of activists, journalists, and artists in Iran.

“This display is a juxtaposition of those who have been imprisoned, tortured and hidden, featured in the global metropolis of New York City,” said IRDC executive director Gissou Nia in a statement quoted by the Times. “It’s a vivid and commanding statement of those being unjustly silenced at a time when significant diplomatic focus is being placed on Iran and its renewed engagement with the world.”

—Benjamin Sutton

(Photo: JR. Via @JRart/Twitter.)


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