Iranian Artists Support Project (IASP)
Who Are Considered Artists?
AFI construes the term “artist” broadly. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Fiction writers
- Graphic designers
- Musicians and
- New media artists
- Performance Artists
- Publishers of Art
- Visual Artists
- Non-fiction writers
Artists from Iran and in any artistic discipline may qualify. Applications are reviewed for artistic merit, the quality/potential of the applicant’s work for visa and immigration purposes, and the severity of the threats. Preference is given to artists who can show the following:
1. Nationality and Residence
The following persons are considered to be Iranian and eligible for consideration under the Iranian Artists Support Program (IASP):
- All persons born and residing in Iran except those who hold citizenship or another permanent status in another country.
- Those who are at least 18 years old whose parents are Iranians, regardless of whether they have been born in Iran or outside of Iran, and have resided at least five (5) continuous years in Iran, except those who hold citizenship or another permanent status in another country, and who have been displaced or in exile for more than three (3) years.
- All foreign nationals who have obtained Iranian nationality AND renounced or lost their foreign nationality, except those who hold citizenship or another permanent status in a third country or who have been displaced or in exile for more than three years.
Please note that, for this project, AFI gives priority to individuals still living in Iran or who have recently fled. AFI does not consider applications from individuals who have been displaced or in exile for more than three (3) years or who hold citizenship or another permanent status in another country.
2. Artistic Production
At-risk artists must be able to demonstrate a record of artistic productions or performances – artwork created through actions executed by the artist or other participants.
Note: There is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes an artwork, and its interpretation has varied greatly throughout history and across cultures. AFI considers all branches of visual art, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, and architecture, as well as theatre, dance, and other performing arts, literature, music, film, and other media, such as interactive media, to be included in a broader definition of the artworks.
3. Persecution and Censorship
Applicants must demonstrate that they are either:
- At the risk of persecution as a direct consequence of their art – this can be shown through a past history of physical harm, fear of future physical harm, incarceration, or prosecution;
- Unable to express themselves freely through their art and are facing or have recently faced immediate, severe, and targeted threats to their artistic practice (1) in Iran and by the government; or (2) in their current country of residence, if outside of Iran, and the government of the current residence is unable to provide protection.