Art for peace and human rights
By: Majid Joneidi
BBC, Washington, D.C.
Translation from Farsi

Friday, May 26, 2006

Mitra Mortazavi Lore is a social activist who has turned to art to convey her message of “peace on earth”.

Mrs. Lore has been living in the United States since 1979 and has been active in the arts for the last eight years.

She is a graduate of Hadaf high school and the College of Political Science Studies, both in Tehran, Iran. She has been a peace and social justice activist in the Washington D.C area for many years. In 1995 she was awarded the Washington Area Peacemaker Award by American University.

Mitra started the Mideast 2000 peace foundation in the Washington area in 1991 with the goal fostering peace in the Middle East. Mitra’s work in the arts began in 1998 mainly working in collage and sculpture. Mitra says she is inspired by Rumi’s poetry in her art and through it she tries to spread a message of peace and friendship to all peoples of the world.

Mitra’s work, including her steel and plaster sculptures, has been displayed in many exhibitions and has been well received by art critics and viewing public. Her efforts for peace and her art have been written about in various publications such as Washington Post and Potomac Gazette.

Mitra says she created a three dimensional installation called “Blood Bath” after the September 11 attacks to express her dismay at the reaction of governments and nations to such atrocities. She says her first sculpture named Peaceful Persian Warrior contains the message to the world that although we may bear arms to defend ourselves but once the threat is removed we need to return to peaceful coexistence.

Mitra’s current work is concentrated on steel sculptures with the latest being The Gift of Masaai Presence, which she has donated to the Nomadic Kenyan Children’s Fund. Mitra says children in Masaai families who do not own any livestock are treated as slaves and her original intention was to donate the proceeds form the sale of her art to purchase livestock for such Masaai families. However, considering limitations imposed on Masaai girls she has decided to earmark her donation for the education of Masaai girls.

Mitra is also active in organizations supporting cancer patients and research. She walks 65 kilometers over 2 days in an annual Cancer Walk with a goal of fund raising for cancer research and aid to families with cancer patients.

Mrs. Lore has two daughters and a son and lives and works with her American husband, Nicholas Lore, in their career consulting business in Maryland.

© Mitra Lore