Leila: Tehran

26 x 26 narrative

When the United States passed more economic sanctions on Iran, a group of activists gathered on the streets in Tehran and released white balloons to show that the Iranian people – not the government – respect peace. I downloaded this photo from a news agency website and for some reason saved it in my files. When I look at it now, I understand it as missing my work as an activist and missing Tehran's streets, where my friends and I launched campaigns for women's rights. Most importantly, this photo reminds me of my mixed feelings of anger and hope, of belonging to a group and of our anxious struggle to make change – and of course, fear accompanied all of this. I feel like a balloon floating in the air, on the street, free in spirit and in constant movement.