“A Memory from the mountains of Kurdistan” is part of a project that I have been working on since my visit and stay in a mountain camp in Kurdistan with Iranian-Kurdish “Peshmargahe” (guerrillas) in the summer of 2005.

It was 1978-1979. The Iranian revolution was in full swing. I was a teenager full of life and passionate about a big change, like so many young people during that period.  We were all ready to get rid of the monarchy and bring justice and equality to our country. News form Kurdistan was a great source of inspiration and courage for all of us. Kurds, after all had a long history of struggling for their human rights.

Finally the time had come. 1979 was glorious. The Shah left the country!

But our glory did not last long. In the first month after the revolution women were the first to be targeted by the new regime and not long after that, on August 19th 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini declared Holy War against the Kurdish people. Things changed for us drastically.

We had been betrayed!

“A Memory from the mountains of Kurdistan” is a story about secular and socialist women of the Islamic world, their ideals, activism, and visions for a different world. It focuses on a group of women organized in “Komalah”, the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran, who live with their male comrades in a mountain camp.  In a society where state and family violence against women is endemic, they are engaged in political and military training, writing, reading, broadcasting, dancing, and singing in order to make their voice heard against any kind of fundamentalists and imperialists’ power.  Most of these women have left their home and joined “Komalah” due to the extreme oppression they have been subjected to in their family and/or by the government.

“These women are not silent!”

Shahrzad Arshadi
Spring 2008