Q: I have heard you say that you sing because there are so many others who can’t. Can you tell us what that means?
A: As an Iranian woman raised during the reign of the oppressive regime of Iran, women in particular were stripped of many basic and fundamental human rights including the right to sing, perform and record music. This unjust continues today. Had I still been living there I would not even begin to dream of having any kind of singing career, let alone of such innovative musical explorations. Many women both older and younger than me have no such hope and so every note I sing on stage is in remembrance and acknowledgement of their lack of freedom. Of course sadly this is not restricted to Iran as oppression of women is nothing new. Even after living in Canada all my adult life I have not fully gotten used to how free I am really to explore my dreams.
Q: Trauma and a need for a safe environment hinders many women in your country from perusing the arts. Can you tell us about the challenges they face?
A: In Iran, often being a woman is enough to make one a target, regardless of what a woman is wearing; how old she is; what her level of education is; what her social status is or what she does for a living. Now add to this toxic mixture the desire to be a performer, a trendsetter, an explorer in the arts and you are then definitely asking for it: to be harassed and accused of bogus charges including spreading immorality in the Iranian society. more » “Interview with the Artist Farnaz”