Pills tell stories

Installation>> Economic Sanctions • Iran/USA

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Iranian artist Sanaz Sohrabi prepares her performance-artYoung Iranian artist Sanaz Sohrabi ended 2012 by setting up a performance-art protest across the street from UN headquarters in New York. Sohrabi, 24, wants to raise awareness of the crippling impact international sanctions are having on ordinary Iranians, especially those living with illnesses.

Sohrabi will spend January sitting besides thousands of pill capsules filled with strips of paper telling the stories of 40 Iranians who say they have not been able to attain medicine or medical help as a result of the sanctions. “I wanted to fill that empty place in the puzzle of the sanctions because that was a very, very empty part.

No one knows what happens in the daily life of people who have to go to drugstores in a country struck by economic sanctions,” she was quoted as saying by news agency RFE/EL.

Sohrabi who grew up in Tehran and has been living in Chicago for the past five months, working towards earning a master’s degree in fine arts, hopes to eventually fill 26,000 pill capsules with the stories, a number chosen to match the 26,000 Iranians with blood disorders. “[These people] have suffered a pain from the illness, and also suffered a pain from not having the medicine for that illness,” she said.

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