As protests over the government’s hijab regulations in Iran continue, scores of women have posted videos of them cutting their hair to mourn the death of Mahsa Amini who died in police custody as a direct consequence of the strict hijab rules in the country. In this context an image of a “flag” made out of hair is going viral on social media claiming that it is from the recent protests in Iran where women have chopped off their hair and hoisted it on a stick. Newschecker found these claims to be untrue.
The image has been posted on Facebook by user Servet Yildiz Sterk along with the caption ‘Flag of Honour: Iranian women hoist chopped hair on stick as the most powerful symbol of dissent.’ along with the hashtag ##mahsa_amini.
Newschecker found similar claims on Facebook along with similar captions.
Newschecker also found that the image was used by English News Website, Firstpost along with the headline ‘Flag of Honour: Iranian women hoist chopped hair on stick as most powerful symbol of dissent.’
We started our investigation by conducting a reverse search of the viral image on Google and found the same image in the Announcements section of an art website called e-flux. The image was credited to Belgian visual artist Edith Dekyndt. This photo was posted on January 27, 2016, with Edith Dekyndt: Indigenous Shadow. Also, the picture was captioned – Edith Dekindt, Native Shadow Part. 2 (Martinique Island), 2014.
Upon conducting a keyword search with the words “Edith Dekyndt: Indigenous Shadow” we found the catalogue titled ‘Ombre indigine’ which was a collection of Edith Dekyndt’s work. The image can be seen on the 17th Page of the catalogue.
Newschecker also found a video of her installation on Vimeo uploaded 10 months ago from the channel ‘Studio Edith Dekyndt’ in which the flag made out of hair can be seen around the 00:09 time-stamp.
Newschecker’s investigation reveals that an image from 2016 used as a part of an art installation by artist Edith Dekyndt is being passed off as a recent image claiming protesters in Iran chopped off their hair and hoisted it on a stick.
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