Establishing an Authentic Artistic Identity

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Shirin Neshat is an Iranian contemporary female artist who is in exile by choice. Born in Qazvin, Iran, in 1957, the artist moved to the United States in 1974 in order to study arts. Due to the Islamic Revolution in 1979, she was prevented from going back to her country. In 1990, after almost 12 years, Neshat visited Iran for the first time after the revolution, which transformed her artistic life into a productive one, full of prizes. The aim of this article is to reflect on the impact of Neshat’s homecoming experience in developing an authentic artistic identity. The emphasis of the paper will be on the artist’s first cinematic film, Turbulent (1998), which will be discussed as a manifestation of the artist’s working through the turbulent encounter with the changes in the motherland after a long separation due to the revolution.

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