Vienna Festival (Wiener Festwochen) Defiant Iranian Actress Barred from Participating in Vienna Festival
By IranWire, June 6, 2023
Iranian security institutions have prevented the international award-winning actor Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, who has expressed solidarity with the "Woman, Life, Freedom" protest movement, from traveling to Austria to participate in a multidisciplinary art festival in Vienna.
“We deeply regret this, not only because the play itself deals most impressively with the issues of border demarcation, migration and solidarity, but also because it is a tremendous example of the power of contemporary Iranian theatre,” they added.
“The Child” was scheduled to be performed at the annual festival on June 6. The performance will be replaced by a free film screening of a recording of the play:
“Even if it cannot replace the experience of a theatre evening, we are keen – together with the artists – to send out a message and share The Child with you and the Vienna audience, despite the physical boundaries. We would therefore like to invite you to a free film screening of a recording of The Child on Tuesday, 6 June at 8.30pm at Halle G, MuseumsQuartier.”
In early May, Tehran police said a legal case had been filed against Motamed-Arya for "unveiling the hijab in public and publishing images on social media."
The actress had previously appeared without a mandatory hijab at a public funeral ceremony on April 18.
In recent months, officials have warned women to respect the mandatory hijab rules and have threatened to punish violators. The authorities have also shut down restaurants, cafes and other businesses due to the failure of owners or managers to observe Islamic laws and hijab rules.