Shirin Neshat
[Artist, photographer, and filmmaker, b. 1957, Qazvin, Iran, lives in New York.]

 Part of me has always resisted the Western clichéd image of Muslim women, depicting them as nothing more than silent victims. My art, without denying “repression,” is a testimony to unspoken female power and the continuing protest in Islamic culture. 
 Poets use metaphors and symbolism to construct images. I construct my images in the same way, except that I am using a different form. 
 Beautiful woman wrapped in chadors, with huge machine guns in their hands. Brilliant, shocking, amazingly contradictory images. They compelled me to deeply investigate these ideas. 
 Those of us living in the state of “in between” have certain advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of being exposed to a new culture and in my case the freedom that comes with living in the USA. The disadvantages of course being that you will never experience again being a “center” or quite “home” anywhere... 
 I find that through the study of women, you get to the heart—the truth—of the culture.