One of the key characteristics of Taaziye theatre is that plays are performed exclusively by men, even the lead female roles; in Iran women are discouraged from entering the acting profession. Casting himself in the place of every character, Haerizadeh uses his self-portrait as a means of social critique. Adopting the roles of both villains and victims, Haerizadeh’s bearded face becomes an uncomfortable mediator, transgressing gender, political, and religious boundaries through his highly sensuous images.

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