This exhibition of works, in connection with child custody laws in the Middle East, included paintings, installations, and video art. It was presented in 2013 in Croatian Cultural Center in San Pedro (west Los Angeles), California.
Video Art piece, directed by Masoud Vatankhahi, featured the artist, Mojan Mozaffari.
About 19 years ago, due to various difficulties and pressures, I filed for divorce. For some two years I was treated like a football, kicked from one bureaucratic corner to another. Many of my important papers were lost, or claimed to have not been submitted. Finally, waiving all my rights, I was able to secure a divorce. My only demand was custody of my child. I even told them I was prepared to give written guarantee that I would not marry again, and would raise our son under his father’s supervision. But to no avail.
After our separation, my son was living in his grandfather’s house, where there was neither mom nor dad with him.
And then the painful scenes of my weekly visits, and my son crying when saying goodbye. I had to not pay attention to his begging, and convince him with silly reasoning to go back. Later on, in the nonprofit organization where I worked, I saw many women in much worse situations than I, women who had addict or mentally-deranged husbands, with kids who would be sold, after mother divorced, into drug distribution networks or prostitution. Common grievance of myself and these women was why could we not raise our own children?
Of course I am appreciative of those fathers who do their best to support and protect their children, and hope for a day that there would be no divorce in any family, and if divorce occurs I hope the court’s decree would be in just and in consideration of the abilities of both parents.
This exhibition marked a beginning for me in my opposition to the child custody laws in Iran’s divorce courts.