Flying Words: Nahid & Nasrin Navab


Flying Words Catalog

January 18 – February 24, 2017
Artist’s Talk – February 7th
12 – 2pm
Room 3001, Fenwick Library

Sisters Nahid and Nasrin Navab are two DC-based Iranian-American artists. They express their love for literature, art, freedom of expression and social justice through the creation of Flying Words, a collection of drawings, handprints, installations, and artistic books exhibited in Fenwick Gallery from January 18 to February 24, 2017.

Growing up in Iran during the 1960s and 1970s, the work of Nahid and Nasrin reflect their experience with international artists, authors, and poets. Flying Words is a tribute to literature that brings people together despite geographic borders, cultural barriers, age, gender, and racial differences. A number of these books have rested in their hearts, stimulated their imaginations and touched their personal lives in intimate social ways.



Green & Black
Nahid Navab
Handprint, etching and silkscreen

Searching for My Face
Nahid Navab
Monoprint, mixed media

Nahid Navab
Monoprint, mixed media

Uncertain Time
Nahid Navab
Monoprint, silkscreen, calligraphy

Nahid Navab
Etching, relief handprint and Chine-collé

Flying Words
Nahid Navab
Monoprint, mixed media


Since the occupation of Iraq in 2003 and resulting turmoil in the Middle East, many of the national archives and libraries of the region have been destroyed and looted.
Testimony is a tribute in memory of this great loss.

The titles used for this work were chosen out of the 87 books produced from a survey Nasrin Navab took while collaborating with the “Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” project DC 2016. The artist asked members of steering committee and others who took an active role in the three-month cultural festival, “What are the five books that inspired you?” Many of these books have been translated from other languages.

Nasrin Navab
Two 30″x96″ panels, print on fabric


“Freedom of information is the freedom that allows you to verify the existence of all the other freedoms” – Win Tin, Burmese journalist.

Journalists that are under attack by corrupted authorities, politicians, and criminals who benefit from the absence of public knowledge of their wrong doings.  In 2016, 76 journalists were killed (48 motive confirmed), whilst 259 spend their lives in prison. Hands Off the Journalist is dedicated to the memory of journalist working around the world who were killed in 2016.

Hands Off the Journalist
Nasrin Navab
Mixed media


Nahid and Nasrin dedicate this exhibition to the Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here 2017 project. Their past collaboration with the AMSSH-DC 2016 project fed their passion for art as a means of connection and an agent of change.