'Jin, Jiyad, Azadi' lands at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023

'Jin, Jiyad, Azadi' project at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023.

At the Biennale Sessions, a special project for the Venice Biennale in Italy dedicated to universities, academies and institutes of higher education, was held in Parco Aperto with "Ecologia (A)sociale", an exhibition curated by Escuela Moderna Ateneo Libertario, Fuoriposto Mestre and Marche Arte Viva.

It featured an intense programme of installations, videos and performances organised in five interconnected thematic islands by numerous artists including Mauro Cuppone, Zhenru Liang, Sue Kim, Gabriela Du Bois and Zhouyun Yang, Alain Urrutia and Massimo Mazzone, Arianna Ferreri, Nicoletta Braga, Antonella Conte, David Liver and Aliah Rosenthal, Vincenzo Astuto, Gino d'Ugo, Elisa Franzoi, Francesco Proto and Stefania Ballone.

An archipelago of people, therefore, who collectively reflected on the ideas of performativity and construction of public space, understood it as a place for the development of a plural political discourse based on practices of libertarian pedagogy.

The artistic presences also include BrauRaum Brera, Emmanuele Lo Giudice, G. Olmo Stuppia and Arianna Marcolin, Eleonora Gugliotta, Nicole Colombo, George Byron Davos, Elisa Franzoi, Norma Santi, Matteo G. Lo Moro, Alessandra Sorrentino, Rotolux and GGG, Marina Marques, Enrico Boccioletti, Luca Vitone, Sunna Svavarsdottir, and the collective performance by Nuvola Ravera in collaboration with architect Giuseppe Ricupero.

The individual islands generated an expanded workshop practice of social sculpture and social ecology, through a collective choreography of time and site-specific interventions, such as performances, installations, educational initiatives, olfactory exhibitions, video and music reviews.

Curated by Matteo Binci's video review with the works of Domenico Mennillo, Pedro G. Romero, Santiago Sierra, Laura Pinta Cazzaniga, Guihan Ren followed by the presentation by Fabio Santin and Rino De Michele of the magazine ApARTe° materiali irregolari di cultura libertaria, a publishing reality engaged in literature, figurative arts, music and performance that gives voice to the relations between art and anarchy.

The artist Eleonora Gugliotta in her performance installation Donna Vita Libertà paid homage to Jina Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who died in September 2022 as a result of torture by the moral police of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a religious police created to observe 'dress codes'. The expansion of their patrols, which targeted women, caused society in Rojhilat (eastern Kurdistan), the main settlement areas of Kurds in Iran, located in western Iran according to today's nation-state borders and the epicentre of significant nationwide protests.

Jina had been stopped while travelling with her brother to Tehran because her hair was visible under her hijab. Taken to the police station, she had been beaten with massive blows to the head confirmed by CT scans from the clinic where she had been left when she was already in a coma.

Jina was buried in Seqiz, the starting point of popular uprisings in Iran that spread to other cities in eastern Kurdistan such as Ûrmiye (Urmia), Serdeşt (Sardasht) and Sine (Sanandaj). Young women dominated these uprisings from the beginning and, led by women, Kurds, Persians, Arabs, Azeris and Baluchis fought side by side against the repressive regime in Tehran.

The two slogans resounded in the streets of almost every Iranian city were 'Jin, Jiyan, Azadî' (Woman, Life, Freedom) and 'Bimre dîktator' (Death to the dictator).

In recent years, there have been repeated protests in Iran. But the size and spread of the latest uprisings seem much larger, and for the first time, the Newroz 2023 fire in Rojhilat (eastern Kurdistan) was lit from Jina's grave.

The performance Donna Vita Libertà by Elena Gugliotta, Jin, Jîyan, Azadî in Kurdish, was replicated at the Venice Biennale together with the contribution of the public and the hair collected during the awareness- raising initiatives on the issue promoted by the artist in April/May 2023 at the Liceo Artistico Enrico De Nicola in Sesto San Giovanni and at the Liceo Artistico Caravaggio in Milan.

In May 2023, Eleonora Gugliotta presented her project 'Spoils, Iran' at the Sozzani Foundation in Milan, which was initiated after the start of the protest. It is the result of a performance at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, as part of the 'Quaderni di Scultura' project curated by Donata Lazzarini, Cristina Camino, Cecilia Guida, Roberto Galeotti and Massimo Mazzone. Together with former students and pupils of Brera, who donated a lock of their own hair to make the map of Iran, using the same technique with which other places in this land of ours were made in my series entitled "Spoglie", linked to the performance cycle "Rito funebre alla Terra" (Funeral Rite to the Earth).

The intense and participative programme of the two days of Social Ecology (A) at the Biennial concluded with sound interventions by Marco Rovelli and Paola Brolati's German Kabarett, realised by Carlotta Ballarin, linked to theatrical practices, artistic experimentation and architecture of the 20th century avant- garde.

Photo: Valerio Muscella, Eleonora Gugliotta, Donna Vita Libertà, Ecologia (A)sociale,Biennale di Venezia 2023