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Morehshin Allahyari’s Mysterious Archive Has Appeared on the Web

Morehshin Allahyari. Images from She Who Sees The Unknown: The Archive project.

She Who Sees The Unknown is an archive of Iranian-Kurdish media artist, activist, and writer Morehshin Allahyari. The project came about as a result of long-term research and search for materials, books, manuscripts, and images. Through these documents, the artist wants to rethink forgotten or distorted stories about female beings in ancient Eastern mythology.

In the collection of the archive, special attention is paid to strange female figures, occult sciences, talismans, and other mystical objects. Each document is accompanied by comprehensive information in Arabic, Farsi, and English. The project’s site is divided into several levels that open as users recognize symbols and hidden messages. Morehshin decided to share knowledge in a way that to some extent protects access to the cultural heritage of Western Asia and creates a platform for "new imaginative and mythical thinking and reshuffling of the past towards alternative nows and futures."

While working on the project, the artist had difficulties getting access to electronic catalogs of Western libraries, which are formally open sources of information. This once again prompted Moreshin to think about the phenomenon of "digital colonialism," which, in her opinion, reproduces colonial power relations in the information space.

Read more on the website.