Shirin Neshat (Persian: شیرین نشاط; born March 26, 1957 in Qazvin) is an Iranian visual artist who lives in New York City, known primarily for her work in film, video and photography. Her artwork centers on the contrasts between Islam and the West, femininity and masculinity, public life and private life, antiquity and modernity, and bridging the spaces between these subjects.
Since Iran has undermined basic human rights, particularly since the Islamic Revolution she has said that she has "gravitated toward making art that is concerned with tyranny, dictatorship, oppression and political injustice. Although I don’t consider myself an activist, I believe my art – regardless of its nature – is an expression of protest, a cry for humanity.”
Neshat has been recognized for winning the International Award of the XLVIII Venice Biennale in 1999, and the Silver Lion as the best director at the 66th Venice Film Festival in 2009, to being named Artist of the Decade by Huffington Post critic G. Roger Denson. Neshat is a critic in the photography department at the Yale School of Art.