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© Maryam Ashrafi

Carte Blanche to Maryam Ashrafi

In the context of International Women's Day

As part of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2023, Jeu de Paume is giving carte blanche, on its website, to the photographer Maryam Ashrafi on the theme “Women, Life, Freedom”.

“Jin, Jîyan, Azadî”, [Woman, Life, Freedom] a slogan which was chanted in Iran during Jina (Mahsa) Amini’s funeral (September 2022), soon crossed the borders. Her death sparked a wave of protests not only in Iran but all across the world where the same slogan is chanted in local languages.

While photographing some of those solidarity demonstrations in Paris and San Fransico, I heard the slogan in French, English, Persian and Kurdish.

But it was almost 10 years ago when I started my long-term project; “Rising among ruins, Dancing amid bullets” that I first heard this slogan in Kurdish.

During this project, from 2012-2018 I travelled to different cities in both Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan, with my focus on Northern Syria, starting from Kobane after its liberation in 2015.

A photographic journey to bear witness to the consequences of war, namely to the lives of civilians returning to their homes after their cities were liberated, as well as to the daily life of the fighters behind the front lines while emphasizing the role of women in their ranks. It was on those frontlines or sometimes at funerals of the fighters that “Woman Life Freedom” was chanted.


Maryam Ashrafi is a Paris-based Iranian photographer. Born in Tehran in 1982 during the Iran and Iraq war, Maryam is passionate for sociology which led her to focus her interest in social and socio-political issues in countries around the world. Graduated with a BA in social documentary photography from the University of Wales, Newport in England, she began to explore these issues, focusing in particular on the situation of Kurds.

She has published her first book; Rising among ruins, Dancing amid bullets with Hemeria.