Season 1 Episode 8

Gissou Nia is a human rights lawyer who has dedicated her life to the protection and justice of civilians affected by war and conflict. In a lot of ways, the work she does is as close to a real-life superhero as we get and her work spans across continents around the globe. In this conversation, we speak about her work as a lawyer as well as her work as an activist, a distinction that might be hard for us all to make, but for Gissou it is very clear. All people deserve justice and human rights, but this belief hits even harder for us when we talk about the people of Iran. Gissou’s family is from Iran, and much like many Iranian children raised in the diaspora, Gissou was exposed to the injustice of corrupt governments very early on. This is one of the reasons she says human rights law spoke to her, the need to right the wrongs you see being done to those around you, in your family, or in your community. Examining nuance, championing human rights, and spreading fact-based knowledge has been Gissou’s world; let’s step into it together at a time when justice, safety, and truth have never been more important.

1 HR 8 MIN
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There is so much to say about the work of Human Rights Attorney Gissou Nia. From her work at the International Criminal Court, prosecuting war crimes, to her support of the Woman Life Freedom movement, Gissou is firm in her convictions and brings her whole-self into everything she pursues. 

In our conversation, Gissou and I took time to touch on her personal activism versus her work in Human Rights Justice, at times these things might tend to overlap in our minds but the reality it, Gissou is an Activist for the Iranian cause but she is steadfast in her pursuit of justice for clients of human rights violations all over the world. 

As if her work as the Director of the Strategic Litigation Project at the Atlantic Council doesn’t keep her busy enough, Gissou has joined a group of prolific activists, human rights attorneys and others from the Middle East to create the End Gender Apartheid campaign in an effort to codify and make illegal the extreme, systematic and structural war against women from the leadership of their nations. Systems that have been designed to dehumanize and repress women of a society for purposes of entrenching power must come to an end for true equality to flourish. 

Between her day job and the campaigns she supports outside of it, Gissou Nia is as close to a real life superhero as we are going to get and I am so lucky she took the time to sit and speak with me. 

Watch the Episode here or listen wherever you get your podcasts!

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Season 1 Episode 20

This week on Artist 2 Artist, Patrisse Cullors joins a discussion of heritage, art and the resistance of reimagination with artists and mother-son duo, Shahla Dorriz and alexandre ali reza dorriz. "You're the only person in the world who could get my mom and I in a room together to do a podcast of all things”, ali reza says to Patrisse… and while that may be true, we are so grateful they came to chat. This episode is an authentic reminder of the importance of personal expression in conjunction with legacy, and how the representation of heritage can transform future generations through art. Shahla, a fashion designer and creative consultant, shares her journey to finding her most authentic artistic medium through fashion, and the importance of the multi-generational approach to her work that centers the inclusion of her Iranian heritage, often in collaboration with her son. Ali Reza, an artist with a research-based practice, sheds light both on his own work with Crenshaw Dairy Mart in Los Angeles, and his work in creating localized hubs for economic, artistic and agricultural autonomy for his community, but on the awe and inspiration instilled in him through both his own experience of his artistic practice and in the one that has been nurtured between himself and his mother. In conversation, the trio explore the waters of storytelling through fabric, the influence of the duo's Iranian heritage on their work, and both the challenges and rewards that arise when one sets an intention to preserve cultural design and promote diverse, unique perspectives within the fashion industry. This mother-son duo are an impactful showcase of how divergent ideas can curate something beautiful, created through that unique channel that each of us has access to; of how that channel becomes ever more powerful the more honest and collaborative we open ourselves to be. This episode reminds us all that artists have the ability to challenge oppressive systems, to create in a way that reminds consumers of times past from which they have the opportunity to learn, and that in embracing ourselves and the roots from which we grew, we become unshakably planted in our identity. "Value your work. If you know what you're working on and if you see that work as valuable, it is valuable."