An image of an artwork which shows a flag made by tying strands of hair to a stick is being shared on social media claiming it was hoisted in Iran amid anti-hijab protests against the death of 22-year old Mahsa Amini.
Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by Iranian "Guidance Patrol" for wearing an "improper hijab", a violation of compulsory hijab law in Iran, fell into coma because of alleged police brutality and later died in a hospital on September 16, 2022. Amini's death immediately sparked protests across the country and worldwide.
BOOM found that the hoisted hair-flag is actually a photograph of an artwork by Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt . It was clicked in 2014. Multiple tweets with the artwork has been shared on social media with captions linking it to the Iran protests.
A user on Facebook shared the image with the caption, "This flag is made from the hair of women in Iran in protest to the killing of Mahsa Amani, a 22 year old girl prosecuted and killed by Iran's "morality" police for not wearing the hijab. I STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WOMEN OF IRAN DURING THIS HISTORIC PROTEST AGAINST A REGIME THAT HAS OPPRESSED WOMEN FOR DECADES. The women in Iran standing up to demand basic human rights are incredibly brave. This is a call to action for all #feminist leaders around the world. This shit has gone on for too long and women have had enough. I pray that the women in Saudi Arabia and other surrounding muslim majority countries follow this example of true #feminism." Click here to see the post.
See a Facebook post with similar claim here.
News Outlets Misleadingly Link Artwork To Anti-Hijab Protests
The image of the flag made of hair was also shared by several news outlets linking it to anti-hijab protests in Iran. Firstpost headlined their article as, "Flag of Honour: Iranian women hoist chopped hair on stick as most powerful symbol of dissent". Click here to see. See the archived article here.
Hindustan Times published an article about filmmaker Leena Manimekalai's tweet with the image amidst the ongoing protests in Iran. Livemint also used the same tweet in their article. However, the filmmaker later clarified that it is an artwork by Edith Dekyndt. Read here and here.
India Today published an article headlined as "Fire, blood and Bella Ciao: Key moments from raging anti-hijab protests in Iran" in which Dekyndt's artwork can be seen with the image description "A flag made with the hair of women would remain as one of the most iconic visuals from the protests." Click here to see.
BOOM ran a reverse image search of the viral image and found the same photograph credited as the artwork of the Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt. The collection is named as "Ombre Indigene". We saw three photographs of the same flag made of hair there.
The description of the images were given as, "A flag made of hair was stuck in the ground and filmed on top of rocks on the Diamant coast, in Martinique. There, precisely, on the night of the 8th of April 1830, a clandestine slave boat transporting a hundred African captives washed up on the rocks before being entirely destroyed." Martinique is an island in France where the photographs were clicked in 2014. Click here to see.
We also looked through Edith Dekyndt's website where we found a video named "Ombre Indigene, 2016." The video shows her works exhibited in Wiels, Brussels. At 8 seconds mark in the 1 minute 25 seconds video we can see the viral flag floating in air. Click here to see.