A portrait of the acclaimed Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya is displayed besides 15 international figures at a multimedia exhibition titled ‘The Transformative Power of Art’ at the UN Exhibits in New York. The exhibition features sculptures and large fresco portraits of artists who have stood up for human rights.
Motamed-Arya, 54, is involved in humanitarian activities and helps raise funds for different charities. Her latest gesture is putting up her Crystal Simorgh award, presented to her for the role of best actress in ‘Gilaneh’ in 2005, on sale to support people deprived of a home in Iran. She has been nominated nine times for the best actress award at the Fajr International Film Festival and won the Crystal Simorgh four times. She had a role in Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’ celebrated film ‘The Tales’ and played the lead character in ‘Nabaat’, Azerbaijan’s nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 2014 Academy Awards.
The objective of the exhibition – curated by painter and sculptor Fabrizio Ruggiero – is to demonstrate that art creates bridges where politics divide. It takes place under the United Nations “2015: Time for Global Action” campaign, primarily destined to raise awareness about climate change and our fragile ecosystems.
The sculptures are made of many natural elements and the 16 accompanying portraits represent people from all continents who, during their lifetime, contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we think. The men and women who are represented never lost sight of the most vulnerable.
They are: Pierre-Claver Akendengué (Gabon), Maya Angelou (USA), Joan Baez (USA), Audrey Hepburn (UK), Vassily Kandinsky (Russia), Umm Kulthum (Egypt), Gong Li (China), Miriam Makeba (South Africa), Edgar Morin (France), Fatemeh Motamed-Arya (Iran), Okot p’Bitek (Uganda), Satyajit Ray (India), Sebastião Salgado (Brazil), Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (Kenya), and Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan).