Asked why she chose to sculpt this third portrait, Ms. Slater explains, "I wanted to sculpt a portrait bust of Sohrab to represent all the brave male freedom fighters who continue to risk their lives daily in their protests for human rights and Democracy in Iran. Seventy percent of the Iranian population want a free and independent secular Iran. Today's real green movement protests are composed of Iranian youths, university students, women, human rights and political activists who do not want an Islamic dictatorship.
As an Iranian woman named Leyla writes, "The Iranian people have had enough of the brutal killing, torturing and imprisonment by this backward theocracy which has devastated the lives of tens of millions of Iranians. It is so painful to think of the greatness we could have achieved during these last 30 years--Iranians could have lived in prosperity, peace and harmony in their own country--instead 70 million Iranians live in a big third world prison! For most Iranians this is not about Mousavi vs Ahmadinejad. This is about Freedom and Democracy vs the "Islamic" republic! From its damned birth 30 years ago, this Regime has enriched Arab terrorist organizations and has tried to impose Arab-ism on Iran and Iranians. It wants to replace our rich Persian heritage with a radical Arab culture. But the people have had enough and that's why they're still coming out on the streets to protest--Iranians will not rest until the "Islamic" republic has been totally crushed!"
Ayatollah Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have been kept in power by their Revolutionary Guard, the ruthless Basij militia, and pro-regime vigilante Police who are given carte blanche to kill and beat the Iranian people into submission. Dozens of protesters have died, and Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have reported 4,000 arrests and Stalinesque mass trials. As Hillary Clinton recently stated about the rape, torture, executions, imprisonments and disappearances in Iran, "this just shows that the Iranian Government is afraid of its own people."
"This is a pivoltal moment in history for the Iranian people and thus also for the world," says Paula. "Artists are supposed to be the visionaries who tell the stories of humankind. The Iranian people have shown me so much gratitude that I must keep telling their story through my art. Once the clay sculpture of Sohrab is cast in bronze I will find a place to donate it where it will inspire people with the story of his heroic fight for freedom."
Mona Ameli, with Bay Area Iranian American Democrats, recently wrote to Paula, "Thank you for all your hard work... I was thinking the other day: if Neda is the Angel of Freedom, you my dear, are the Angel of Solidarity!
So what is next for this Angel of Solidarity? "There is a saying, 'Bread for the table, flowers for the soul'," replies Paula. "I know I am very blessed to be a professional sculptor and sculpting public commissions puts bread on my table, however sculpting and donating these portraits of Neda and Sohrab have been flowers for my soul. I will continue to plant my soul garden and do what I can to help keep their memory alive, as I am now designing a Bronze Monument to Neda, Sohrab and the Freedom Fighters. I also hope to continue being a thorn in the side of the Islamic Regime until their reign of oppression and terror ends. I believe their karmic day of reckoning is fast approaching, however, bronze lasts for centuries--so these bronze sculptures will last long after the Islamic Regime has turned to dust. In the meantime, we must all keep the dream of a free Iran alive in our hearts." For updates and more information about the Monument as it progresses visit http://www.PaulaSlater.com.
Please click on http://www.NorCal4Iran.com for upcoming details regarding when and where the unveiling of the Sohrab and Neda bronze portraits will take place. On December 12th, United4iran is hosting global events around the world, "Arts United4iran"
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Paula Slater Sculpture is owned and operated by Paula B. Slater, M.A. Paula Slater is a full-time professional sculptor and has sculpted many important bronze monuments, portraits and public commissions.