Das Phänomen ist überall auf der Welt dasselbe, jedoch bekommt es als Ausdrucksform insbesondere in unterdrückenden und die Meinungsfreiheit beschränkenden Systemen eine wichtige gesellschaftspolitische Bedeutung des Widerstands und der Opposition.
Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee is an Iranian author, human rights and women’s rights activist who fights for freedom of expression and campaigns against the death penalty and the cruel practice of stoning. Since 2014, Golrokh has been arrested and condemned several times for “insulting the sacred” as well as actions and propaganda “against the state and the regime“. She was last sentenced to seven years in prison in April 2023. Even as a political prisoner, she has repeatedly protested against human rights violations over the years and declared her solidarity with the civil protests in Iran.
born 1994 in Dezful
Sepideh Qoliyan is one of the most prominent Iranian women and civil rights activist and journalist. In 2018, Qolian was arrested and condemned because of counteracting “against national security” for supporting a strike and protest by workers at a sugar factory in Iran. After over four years in prison, she was released in March 2023 and arrested again on the same day because of chanting slogans against Khamenei (the religious leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran) right in front of the prison. Therefore she is currently serving two more years in prison. During her imprisonment, Qolian wrote a letter about the brutality the prisoners face during interrogations to force confessions.
born 1935 in Tehran and died 1967 in Tehran
The Iranian poet and film director Forugh Farrokhzad is one of the most important representatives of Iranian modernism. In her poems Farrokhzad writes about her experiences as a woman in a patriarchal society as well as identity, sexuality and passion from the woman's point of view. With her work, she wants to unmask the traditional image of the submissive woman and redefine literary, social and cultural conventions and ideals. Numerous of her poems are officially banned in Iran, because of their uncomfortable and rebellious stance. Despite the ban, Farrokhzad became a national idol revered by many Iranians – young and old – because of her authentic and courageous lyrics. Forugh Farrokhzad died at the young age of 32 in a car accident.
born 1963 in Tehran
Nasrin Sotoudeh is a renowned Iranian lawyer, journalist and human rights activist, who advocates for the rule of law and the rights of political prisoners, opposition activists, women and children in the Iran’s repressive regime. She primarily campaigns against anti-women laws, criticizes the death penalty and fights against the arbitrary violation of existing rights in Iran. Sotoudeh is currently serving a long prison sentence – in two unjust trials she was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 whip lashes – for standing up against the country’s legal system and her commitment to human rights. Despite her imprisonment and constant threats against her family she remains an advocate for the rule of law. In 2020, Sotoudeh was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize), which is presented to people and initiatives that stand up for the most urgent challenges facing humanity.
born 1977 in Tehran, died 2017 in California
Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician and professor at the Stanford University. She is considered as one of the most outstanding mathematicians, her work has led to many achievements in a whole range of sub-disciplines of mathematics. In 2017, she was honored with the Fields Medal – the most prestigious award in mathematics – as the first Iranian and the first of only two women to date. Mirzakhani was never a person, who liked to stand in the spotlight. Therefore she rarely comments on issues that have nothing to do with mathematics like Iranian politics, the U.S. immigration policy or the underrepresentation of women at the top of mathematics. Nevertheless, she described her Fields Medal award as an encouragement for women and girls, so that more and more women will reach the top, even though it still takes time. In 2017, Mirzakhani died of breast cancer at the age of only 40.
Scholar, author, activist, world leader for Black Feminism movements and Civil/Human Rights struggles. She was involved in various causes around class and gender, including the second-wave feminist movement, and the Black Panther Party. Professor emerita at the University of California/ History of Consciousness Department, and a former director of the university's Feminist Studies Department. She keeps inspiring feminist struggles worldwide.
Brazilian intellectual, politician, professor, anthropologist. Leila is one of the first voices to point out the intersectionality of systems of oppression. She inspired many generations of Black Feminists, including Angela Davis. She founded the Black Movement of Brazil, Research Institute of Black Cultures (Instituto de Pesquisas das Culturas Negras, IPCN), the Black Women's Collective – N'Zinga and the Olodum.
born 1934 - 1992 USA
Self-described as „black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet“, was a pioneer for black lesbians everywhere. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, lesbianism, illness and disability, and the exploration of black female identity. Your Silence Will Not Protect You” is a posthumous collection of essays, speeches, and poems published in 2017.
1979-2018, Favela da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Politician, sociologist, activist, local leader for Black Feminism and Human Rights. As Audre Lorde, also a black, lesbian, mother, warrior and an enormous power of inspiration for the so-called “Women of the Periphery” in Brazil, By out-speaking critic of police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the slums and peripheries of Rio de Janeiro, she was brutally murdered. This occurred right after her speech on „Black Youngsters Moving [Power] Structures“. She became the symbol of Black feminism and intersectional struggles in Brazil and worldwide Her murder is still unsolved.
1928-2014, Missouri, USA
American poet, memoirist and civil rights activist. She published several books of poetry, plays, movies, and television shows over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was published in 1969 and it is still a source of inspiration and empowerment for women to speak out.