Hoveida Saberi and various artists

17 October - 5 November 2023

On 18 June 1983 — 40 years ago — 10 Baha’i women were taken to a square in Shiraz, Iran, under the cloak of night. After months of torture and imprisonment, they were mass executed without the knowledge of their families. One was 17, most in their 20s. Their crime was their belief in a faith that promoted gender equality — absent and criminalized in Iran — justice and truthfulness. They were hanged one by one, each forced to watch the next woman’s death in a harrowing attempt to coerce them into renouncing their faith. None did.

Ten Women of Shiraz is an exhibition initiated by local woman Hoveida Saberi, whose Aunt Simin was one of the 10 women executed. It features textile work by Hoveida, her family and a number of other contributors. Accompanying the textile work is a moving poem by Hoveida’s daughter Parisa Rowhani-Farid, set to visuals by Mona Gaffari and An Tebyanyan.

“Creating this artwork has been an emotional process. It has allowed me to share the story of my Aunt Simin and the nine other women with colleagues, friends, and others in my community. I have also had the opportunity to pass on the art of crochet, a skill I learnt from my mother many years ago. The timing of this project has also been emotional when considering the similar human suffering that is happening in different parts of the world.” – Hoveida Saberi

Ten Women of Shiraz has been created in response to a global campaign launched by the Baha’i International Community entitled #OurStoryIsOne. The campaign calls for creative contributions from people around the world to honour the ten women of Shiraz who were executed for their beliefs. #OurStoryIsOne is a celebration of the resilience of Iranian women of all faiths and backgrounds within a system of discord and oppression.

Hoveida invites anyone who would like to contribute to the work Ten Women of Shiraz to please get in touch through the gallery.

Below is a video from the Baha’i Blog about the ten women of Shiraz.

More detailed information on the ten women can be found here:


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Image: Belinda Bonney, Reconciliation of the Nation: we all walk together as one (detail)