Old Artwork of Flag Made From Hair Falsely Linked to Anti-Hijab Protests in Iran

This artwork was created by Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt.

3 min read
Hindi Female

An image showing a flag made of hair is going viral on social media with a claim that it was hoisted by Iranian women as a symbol of defiance while protesting over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Iran, who was arrested by the 'morality police' for 'failing to meet' the country's strict dress code for women.

The image has been used by various news outlets and shared by several users on social media, linking it to the protests.

However, this is an old image which dates back to 2014. This artwork was created by Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt. It was stuck on the rocks on the Diamant coast in France's Martinique, where a boat transporting a hundred African captives was washed up in 1830s.



Along with several social media users, professor Ashok Swain, English news website Firstpost shared the flag's photo claiming it to be from the recent protests.

Other news websites like Hindustan Times and HuffPost also used the picture crediting it to Indian filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, who shared it on her Twitter profile on 23 September. However, on the same day, she had clarified that the image was an artwork by Edith Dekyndt.

(Note: Swipe to see screenshots)

  • An archive can be seen here. 

    (Source: Firstpost/Screenshot)

Similar claims can be seen here and here.



We conducted a reverse image search using Google and found the same image posted in a catalogue, 'Ombre indigène'. This was a collection of artist Edith Dekyndt's work.

The image of the flag was in the catalogue and the caption mentioned that it was clicked in 2014 and captioned "Ombre indigène 30 (Part. 2, Martinique), video projection, 16/9, 34’17”, on a loop, 2014."

The description stated that this flag was made out of hair, stuck to the ground, and filmed on the rocks of Diamant Coast in Martinique, France.

"There, precisely, on the night of 8 April 1830, a clandestine slave boat transporting a hundred African captives washed up on the rocks before being entirely destroyed," it added.

This artwork was created by Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt.

Screenshot from the book. 

(Source: book -Ombre indigène/Screenshot)

We searched for Dekyndt's website and found a video of her art exhibition from 2016. It carried a video which showed the same flag waving in the air at 0:08 timestamp.

This artwork was created by Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt.

The viral photo is a screenshot from the original video.

(Source: Dekyndt's website/Screenshot)

We came across another website e-flux, a platform which publishes artist's project, which had shared the same image on 27 January 2016. The photograph was displayed at Wiels, a contemporary art centre in Belgium in 2016.

Clearly, an old image from 2014 used as an artistic work was falsely linked to the anti-hijab protests of Iran.

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Topics:  Webqoof   Mahsa Amini   Iran Hijab Protests 

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