Ramak Bamzar: Pro Femina

Ramak-Bamzar-Scene-3-from-the-series-Pro-FeminaA collection of visually stunning and emotionally charged works that serve as portals into a world of raw emotions, unsung heroism, and undeniable truths, Art Gallery of Ballarat presents Ramak Bamzar: Pro Femina, as part of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

Ramak Bamzar is a Melbourne-based Iranian photographer. Her work explores how cultural and religious norms can shape women’s beliefs, values, and behaviours and can influence their sense of self-worth and agency.

The deep digital footprints made by this generation of victims of the Islamic Republic have left behind a haunting reminder of the power of protests and individual action. So far, dozens of women protestors have been arrested, kidnapped, and subjected to torture, rape, and execution.

In these striking works, the Moustachioed Women and Rhinoplastic Girls from Bamzar’s 2022 series burst out of their imprisoning frames to capture a moment in the ongoing struggle, intertwining with the essence of Iranian culture and heritage.

Through the integration of poetic motifs, epic themes, and historical allusions, the images go beyond mere documentation, offering a profound insight into the resilience and determination of Iranian women.

Capturing dramatic moments; Bamzar crafts each scene, from the backdrop to the finest details as each is meticulously shaped from fabric, receiving her personal touch through detailed painting. All drawing inspiration from Persian epic poetry, coffee house paintings, and Dutch masters.

The spirit of Iranian women shines through, defying the constraints imposed by a repressive regime. Their endurance becomes a testament to the strength and courage that thrives amidst adversity.

By shedding light on these experiences, the images seek to honour their stories, elevate their voices, and inspire a broader dialogue on pursuing freedom and justice.

“Pro Femina is an acknowledgement of sacrifice and a celebration of the women who have lost their lives in the 21st century just for basic freedoms, people who are not just names and hashtags but real, living and vital souls,” said Ramak Bamzar.

Ramak Bamzar: Pro Femina
Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat
Exhibition continues to 5 November 2023
Free entry

For more information, visit: www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au or www.ballaratfoto.org for details.

Image: Ramak Bamzar, Scene 3 from the series Pro Femina (detail). Pigment inkjet print on paper © Ramak Bamzar