Fearless Fifteen Story | Masoumeh Ataie

The series of FEARLESS FIFTEEN STORY is an outcome of "More than Skin Deep", a passion-project by artist, Debasmita Dasgupta (Singapore) and poet, Claire Rosslyn Wilson (Barcelona). This poster is inspired by the courage of Masoumeh Ataie from Iran.
Masoumeh's True Story >>

“There are some beautiful things in life that needn’t be seen, they can be felt or sensed. The beauty that I don’t see now seems much lovelier than before.” wrote Masoumeh in a letter to her son.

Nearly ten years ago, Masoumeh Ataie lost both her eyes after her father-in-law doused her face with acid. Her sense of beauty, however, remains unchanged. She was an artist then and remains one now, "I don't want to be known as a victim, I want to be known as an artist," Ataie creates pottery, statuettes, paintings using Braille and sculptures that are inspired by stories she’s heard and based on her imaginations. She also gives art classes to visually impaired people in Tehran, where she now lives with her son after having to flee from her family in Esfahan.

Masoumeh’s art has been on display in museums and art galleries throughout Tehran along with the works of other survivors of acid violence and differently abled artists. Through these shows, they help raise funds for Iran’s Association of Support of Acid Attack Victims. Ataie herself has served as an inspiration for, survivor and artist Mohsen Mortazavi’s stirring marquetry artworks.

In 2015, Iranian director Sona Moghadam also based her eponymous documentary ‘Masoumeh’ around Ataie’s exacting life after the attack, her community and the endearing relationship she shares with her son. The documentary has featured in various film festivals including the DC Independent Film Festival.

Today, Masoumeh leads a quiet life with her son whom she reveres to as her strength while also continuing to be a vocal campaigner against the leniency of law, and bringing attention to other victims and giving them the voice others had tried to deny them. And through her art, she wishes to empower other survivors, express that they don’t need to hide away and help them get back to society without fear of judgment.

--- narrated by Isha Bhattacharya

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Strategy & Engagement Partner: Creative Arts Social, Singapore
Creative Arts Social (CAS) is Singapore’s biggest arts community specialising in arts engagement for adults.
Media Partner: Arts illustrated Magazine
Arts Illustrated is an Indian based arts and design magazine dedicated to understanding the contemporary arts landscape and creating a more inclusive ecosystem for the arts in the country.

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