Iranian artists AIDA and Nesa Azadikhah have released a new collection of electronic music in support of the movement for women’s rights in Iran.
The couple launched their new label Apranik Records, which was released last week (January 20). The collection of 12 tracks titled “Woman, Life, Freedom” features all Iranian artists, including SarrSew, Sharona Lico, XEEN, Kimia Koochakzadeh-Yazdi and ROW92, as well as the heads of the Azadikhah and AIDA labels.
AIDA and Azadikhah have dedicated a collection to the uprisings in Iran as protests against the treatment of women continue.
In an Instagram post about the recording , the couple wrote: “Woman Life Freedom” [consists of] tracks from 12 Iranian female producers. Today also marks 126 days since the start of the recent uprisings in Iran and the assassination of Mahsa Gina Amini. This rebellion, our anger and the hope to raise awareness through music is the reason we founded this label.
“After 3 months of work, we are proud to announce that the full version is finally available for purchase and playback. This struggle is closest to us as a group of Iranian women. We are releasing this collection as a sign of solidarity and struggle for a free Iran and strive to raise awareness of this revolution through music.
“The theme of this collection is strength, defiance and ferocity, and it can be heard in all tracks. This is the energy with which Iranian women continue to fight for freedom. We dream of a future in which women and girls can openly and safely practice, grow and shine in art, especially in electronic music. From us to you and to a free Iran. Many thanks to everyone involved.”
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On Bandcamp they added: “Throughout Iranian history, women have been at the forefront of music and performing arts. However, over the last 44 years of the Islamic regime, women in Iran have been banned from singing, dancing and performing.
“Faced with security threats to themselves and their families, to their careers and reputations, artists are forced to resign, leave Iran or go underground, at serious risk. Despite this, Iranian women remain active and are at the forefront of their art, pushing the boundaries of Iran and different parts of the world.
“Iran rose before the revolution. On September 16, 2022, a young girl named Mahsa Gina Amini was murdered at the hands of the Iranian Vice Police, a police force tasked with enforcing the Islamic dress code against women through harassment methods.
“Since then, large protests have broken out across the country and around the world. What started as a spark of protest against justice for Mahsa Amini has since turned into a revolution, with people fearlessly protesting across the country. Government forces brutally killed, arrested and tortured many protesters, including children and teenagers. Despite this, the protests are getting bigger and bigger, and the struggle for the freedom of oppression of women and girls has become the greatest of its kind in history.
“As a group of Iranian women, this struggle is closest to our heart. We are releasing this collection as a sign of solidarity and struggle for a free Iran. We dream of a future in which women and girls can openly and safely practice, grow and shine in art, especially in electronic music. From us to you, to a free and future free world and to a free Iran.”
You can buy the collection here. The proceeds from the compilation will be donated by Apranik Records to charities helping women in Iran.
Recently, Karen O, Shirley Manson and Suki Waterhouse were among a group of musicians who supported calls to stop the executions of protesters in Iran.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, more than 50 entertainment industry figures took part in the video, in which each of them holds a piece of paper with the handwritten hashtag #StopExecutionsInIran.
The project was organized and produced by American screenwriter of Iranian-American origin Nicole Najafi, director, screenwriter and producer Ana Lily Amirpour and actress-writer Maugan Marno.
“We support the people of Iran in their struggle for freedom,” the message on the screen reads. “Thousands of protesters have been arrested. Some have already been executed. Many others are in danger. But the world is watching.”
Marno told THR that the purpose of the video is “to draw as much attention to this issue as possible and thereby make the Islamic Republic feel pressure — the international community is watching.”
She continued, “The other purpose of this is to show the Iranians in Iran that peace is with them; that they are not forgotten; that their protests and suffering are not in vain. They are out there, on the streets, risking their lives, and this has been going on for several months.
“We cannot underestimate the mental and physical stamina that is required.”