The Politics of Voice

Visual Artist Maral Mamaghani

I am a Iranian artist and gained an MA in jewellery and silversmithing from the School of jewellery, Birmingham City University  2017. I explore the barriers I encounter in everyday life, being both Deaf and a refugee. I communicate through my artworks, combining feminism and cultural politics. My aim is that my jewellery has a story. As both an artist and a narrator, I depict the wearer’s character through the jewellery I make.

In my home country (Iran) in 2014, I completed a Jewellery Designer and Crafts degree as well as winning the Puppeteer award at the Students Theatre Festival. In Iran, admission to public universities is based only on the results of the highly competitive, nationwide exams; in 2010 I took third place in the Iranian University Entrance Exam. In 2009 I won an illustration competition.  My international, cross cultural experiences have developed my interpersonal and critical skills as well as improving my level of understanding of contemporary Jewellery & Crafts. 

After completing my MA I became a political refugee as my work, ‘The Politics of Voice; The Tale of Tresses’ directly challenged the patriarchal society in Iran. I have now been granted permanent residency in UK. I then successfully applied for a 1 year residency at Grand Union that presents innovative artistic and curatorial practice and was artist in residence 2017 – 2018. In March 2018 I was selected for Talente Munich Award, at Polyphonous: Counterpoint exhibition in Munich. In June 2018, I presented a short performance art piece “Politics of Voice” at Soapboxes & Riceboxes; I played with the immediate judgements people make of migrants and showed audiences the sign for Iran. I revealed the difficulty migrants have with communication, this work was part of Migrant Festival at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. In July 2018 I lead a workshop for adults at Ikon Gallery called Making Knots and in August 2018 I took part in Punch Records young artists residency, Gallery 37, exhibiting work and leading interventions. At the same time I received my first Arts Council Project Grant to research and develop ceramic ‘over-ear’ jewellery for my project: ‘If you want to be alive…read my lips.’


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