Susan Stjernberger is an active figure in the Stockholm fashion scene. She is part of the advisory board at Stockholm Fashion week and runs the well-known Instagram account @styleinscandinavia.
Can you share your thoughts on what is happening in Iran right now and how this is affecting you personally?
— The biggest human and women’s rights revolution is happening right now in Iran. Young girls are demanding change and they are being killed for it. I’m consumed mentally and emotionally, crying all the time over what I’m seeing on social media. How the Iranian police are just beating and killing my people for speaking out. Everything else seems trivial. I want to use my platform to amplify all their voices and get their message out.
Why is this happening right now? In regard to cultural and generational changes.
— I think the killing of Mahsa Amini was the last straw. This younger generation, these teenagers have just had enough. They are fearless! It’s not about religion, it’s about freedom. These young girls want to be able to choose what they wear and how they wear it. They want to be able to show their hair and dance on the streets — but it’s forbidden. They want their freedom, basic human rights, and the same human rights that have been recognized as the world’s first charter of human rights coming from Cyrus the Great, the first king of Persia (today Iran). He freed the slaves, declared that all people had the right to choose their own religion, and established racial equality.
Have you seen any initiatives in your industry that are supporting or at least discussing what is happening right now? If not, what would you like to see?
— I’m seeing brands like Balenciaga, Kering Group, and designers such as Haider Ackermann post that they stand with the women of Iran. We need more of this. We need more brands with a higher number of followers to post and talk about this. They need to show their support so that the United Nations and Amnesty International take action. There is a genocide happening in Iran right now. Iran, before the revolution, has always been there for all minority groups. We took in the Armenians when the Turks were killing them. We also had a huge Jewish population. We all lived together accepting all religions and all people.
In regards to the regime’s internet shutdown, how can we, who have unlimited access to social media, help and keep shedding light on the situation?
— We have to share posts and be their voice. That’s all we can do from here to get attention to what’s happening in Iran. We need to use #mahsaamini #iranprotests and tag @unitednations, @unitednationshumanrights, and @amnesty so they take action and stop this genocide in Iran.