By examining a number of contemporary Iranian films, this paper will present the legal, social, and pollical challenges that woman face in accessing space in Iranian society. These filmic formulations of women’s negotiation of spaces are often inspired from their actual lives. The films allow us to problematise the conventional assumptions of a dichotomous male and female or private and public space in Iranian society. Whilst they reflect the restrictions imposed by the patriarchal structures, they also demonstrate women’s daily resistance to them. The limitations can curtail the opportunities afforded by freedom of movement such as, for example, the attendance of female athletes in international competitions. In other instances, the Islamicised public spaces empower some women’s position and facilitate their access and presence in the public. This presentation will scrutinise the complex set of structures that restrict or assist both men and women’s movement in Iranian society.
Professor Nacim Pak-Shiraz
Professor Nacim Pak-Shiraz is Personal Chair in Cinema and Iran, and Head of the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She has published in the fields of visual cultures, constructions of masculinity, and the engagement of religion and film. She has authored Shi‘i Islam in Iranian Cinema: Religion and Spirituality in Film (2011& 2018), and edited Visualizing Iran: From Antiquity to Present (2017). Pak-Shiraz has also curated 6 annual film festivals in Edinburgh and been a jury member and presenter at a number of international film festivals in Europe and Asia.