steps to the moon

From Rhizome Artbase
Gita Hashemi

Steps to the Moon documents the efforts of three Iranian women, two living in exile and the other in Iran, to rekindle their friendship through electronic communication. As they struggle to stay in contact in spite of the barriers of language, access, spatial displacement and temporal discontinuity, and under the threat of censorship by authorities in Iran, their communication sheds light on some of the daily struggles of women in Iran.

Rhizome staff

Made and exhibited in 1997, "steps to the moon" documented the efforts by two Iranian women, one in isolation in Iran and the other in exile in Canada, to rebuild their friendship using the internet, at the time recently available in Iran and solely through universities, as a space and vehicle for communication. Parallel to this, the sitemaker, also an Iranian woman, turned her gaze inward to document her own memories as they surfaced in working on the project. Combining the personal, the political and the poetic, steps to the moon is about two women, three collaborators and four presences in a hyperspace.
The project raised important questions about the politics of cyber technology as the barriers of language, predominantly English at the time, access, quite limited to this date, 2002, in many countries in the Third World, and surveillance, endemic across the global networks, manifested themselves in the process. Primarily intended as a project to facilitate personal healing through the work of reconstructing and speaking of a difficult shared history, "steps to the moon" also highlighted the tensions between the private and the public, the personal and the political, specifically so because of the opressive/repressive conditions that inform the shaping of these dichatomies in Iran as in elsewhere.
The project came to a halt when the collaborator in Iran, a university student, lost her internet priviledges. The friends, however, continued their dialogue through other means and, eventually, with the availability of internet access beyond university domains in Iran, through e-mail again. "steps to the moon" is a snapshot of a short period in their life, presented as a historical record.

Gita Hashemi
6 August 2002
Legacy descriptive tags
Mina Haque, WebWeavers, Saha Gharibian, Interaccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, Tom Leonhardt, Goli, Gita Hashemi, Toronto, Tehran, Shiraz, Iran, canada
Attribution: Gita Hashemi
tactical, Narrative, historical, Documentary, Collaborative, Third World, resistance, public space, language, gender, email, censorship, Perl, HTML, Text
Attribution: Rhizome staff
Variant History
outside link
static files
6 August 2002
Rhizome staff