The Boston area has been a haven for refugees and immigrants for generations. Our stories are part of the soul of communities like Brookline. This soul comes alive in the art of Giti Ganjei. In an extraordinary art exhibit, Brookline-based painter Ganjei examines the themes of injustice, hope, oppression and freedom.
As a Jewish woman from Iran, Ganjei has an original and moving story to tell.
A story of freedom
Giti Ganjei runs a real estate practice in Brookline. She has been painting for many years and used to serve as a Brookline arts commissioner, selecting artists for the exhibits.
Much of her artwork centers around themes of humanity, freedom, and liberty, particularly for the women of Iran.
Ganjei, born and raised in Iran, said she witnessed gender discrimination and societal oppression, especially during the political revolution that took place in the late 1970s. The Iranian Revolution gave rise to many laws that set rules for what women could wear, which included requiring them to cover their hair by wearing some sort of veil.
Ganjei’s favorite piece was a painting inspired by her friend’s poem, which she interpreted as a call for freedom.
“It’s very peaceful, and it has a message coming from chaos to freedom, which is related to me because I came here as an immigrant,” Ganjei told the media. “I went through a lot of this to become a citizen and be able to feel like I’m home.”
Ilana Lescohier, one of the arts commissioners, said Ganjei’s unique life story is captured in her work.
“If you look at her paintings, you realize there are many layers in them,” Lescohier said.