Borders and Boundaries: Expanding the Boundaries of Freedom of Speech

Apr 29, 20190 comments

Many gifted Iranian artists choose to express themselves and what they stand for at the risk of jeopardizing their freedom. They are constrained by official and unofficial “red tapes” that determine what is a permissible expression in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  

We believe freedom of expression is the bedrock of democracy and that is why we decided to support Iranian artists by offering them a platform to safely express themselves. United for Iran’s Borders and Boundaries project invited artists to submit their visual art creations to be reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges: Parastou Forouhar, Ethan Russell, and Hassan Sarbakhshian.

After evaluating the many thought-provoking submissions, the judging panel has selected the top creations.


You can view the selected pieces.


All of the artists that participated in Borders & Boundaries decided to submit their work under pseudonyms. We find this fact to be the most telling about the status of freedom of speech in Iran and the fearful conditions in which Iranian artists work.

United for Iran has awarded the winning artist $1,000 USD, and the top 10 selections will be displayed at the Oslo Freedom Forum this spring in a public digital display in Skippersuppa Park in Oslo, Norway.