Iran’s protests – launched over personal freedoms for women – have inspired a campaign by women across the globe who are cutting their hair and posting videos using the #HairForFreedom hashtag on Instagram. The protests erupted after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd, was detained for showing too much hair under her Islamic headscarf. A video captured her collapse at a reeducation center; she went into a coma and died three days later. In the early protests, Iranian women took videos ripping off their hijabs and cutting their hair as acts of defiance.
A group of French activists then launched the Instagram account soutienfemmesiran or “Support Iranian Women.” Iranian women “expect support from the international community,” said French lawyer Richard Sedillot, who initiated the Instagram campaign. “This is a beautiful way to show that support.” Oscar-winning actresses, including Juliet Binoche and Marion Cotillard, posted videos cutting off their locks. Belgian foreign minister Hadja Lahbie cut off her hair on the floor of parliament. Abir al Sahlani, a Swedish member of the European Parliament, cut off her hair during a parliamentary debate in Strasbourg, France.
At one of her performances, French singer and comedian Christel Chollet clipped her blonde locks then passed the scissors around the audience. In Rome, visitors to the National Centre for Contemporary Art and Architecture in Rome, left tresses from their hair in a box at reception to be delivered to the Iranian Embassy in Rome. “They need to know that they are not alone, Giovanna Melandri, president of the MAXXI art museum, told Euronews. “They need to know that what they are asking, which are basic human rights, is something we want to fight alongside them.” The following are pictures, tweets and videos of women in Iran and around the world joining the campaign.
What a remarkable image. The daughter of Minoo Majidi--a mother of two who was killed by the Iranian regime while protesting for #MahsaAmini--stands at her mother's gravesite. She is defiantly unveiled, and in her left hand she holds the hair she cut from her head. pic.twitter.com/QPqHGk4MDy— Karim Sadjadpour (@ksadjadpour) September 30, 2022
A woman cuts her hair in the main square in Kerman, #Iran as protesters shout “Death to the dictator.”#Mahsa_Amin #MahsaAmini #IranProtests2022 #IranProtests #مهسا_امینی #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/xZ7K1g2Tkr— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) September 21, 2022
Fearless! During the funeral of Javad Heydari, one of the victims of the current protests in Iran, started after #MahsaAmini’s death, his sister cuts her hair next to her brother's grave, a symbol of solidarity. #IranProtests2022 #جواد_حیدری #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/rwsoAreJyt— Omid Memarian (@Omid_M) September 25, 2022
Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib cut her hair in parliament, following the example of deputy Darya Safai, in solidarity with anti-government protests in Iran triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the country's moral police custody https://t.co/NuY7HC0JCa pic.twitter.com/fOj1EPeCZS— Reuters (@Reuters) October 7, 2022
Swedish lawmaker Abir Al-Sahlani, who was born in Iraq, cut her hair while delivering a speech during a parliament debate on the protests in Iran at the European Union.— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 7, 2022
“Until the women of Iran are free, we are going to stand with you," she said. pic.twitter.com/5WaJzFjiPK
Artists from around the world captured the movement in murals, cartoons and drawings.
The digital protest art being created in Iran is brilliantly powerful! pic.twitter.com/lRUQf7Meiw— Rama Paul (@ramapaul2017) October 6, 2022