Before We Were Banned is a series of events subverting the Muslim Ban 1.0 by cultivating a platform for creatives of the seven countries on the list to draw their own picture and write their own narrative. Curated by the Brooklyn-based Iranian duo, Before We Were Banned first and foremost celebrates the arts and culture of these communities and in due course aims to repudiate the antagonistic image portrayed of these nations.
Kiana Pirouz immigrated to Atlanta, Georgia from Tehran, Iran at the age of 3. After attending the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism, she has spent over a decade working in media and marketing in New York City. Fusing her interests (music & art) with her knowledge (media & immigrant life experience) in her personal work, Kiana is focused creating strategies and avenues for the marginalized to maintain and spread their authentic narrative while leveraging the tools of mass media to ignite cultural conversations and illuminate real stories.
Born in Tehran, and raised between Tehran and Dubai, Mahya Soltani is an Iranian designer and visual artist currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. After practicing as a designer and an art director in Dubai, UAE for four years Mahya moved to United States to pursue her MFA in Design Entrepreneurship at School of Visual Arts in New York. Her practice as an artist engages time as a tool challenging expectations and perceptions while delineating the existence of alternate realities.