Atefe Asadi is a writer, editor, translator, and songwriter from Tehran, Iran. She holds a BA degree in English Translation and has worked as editor and translator with various publication and magazines, including underground ones. Asadi’s literary work is set in the context of Iranian society and addresses the country’s social, political, and religious issues, including gender, sexuality, and women’s rights while challenging conservatism, religion, war, and their consequences.
Asadi’s literary work is not limited to a specific genre or format and experimentation is a key part of her creative process. Atefe’s writing presents a realistic account of life in today’s Iran under the shadow of dictatorship from a variety of angles and perspectives and using different voices, narrators, and points of view. Asadi’s work includes multi-layered storytelling, underpinned by political, cultural, and religious themes and issues.
Some of Atefe’s stories were published in independent magazines, including Iran’s ‘Independent Literature Magazine’, ‘The Morva Quarterly’, ‘Consefr’, and ‘The Shadows’ (‘Saayeha’). Her film and book reviews have been published on online platforms, such as ‘Ketaabchi’ or ‘Saayeha’. Asadi’s other works, including her collection of stories, were rejected by Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and declared unprintable.
While in Iran, Atefe was under pressure due to her work and civic activities and was interrogated on numerous occasions. In May 2022, when she was at a public demonstration (‘Hosseiniyeh Khuzestanihai’) mourning the victims of the Abadan Metropol incident, Asadi was arrested by the security forces. She was interrogated in custody and freed after a few days, but the pressures continued following her release. After the murder of Mahsa Amini, the situation intensified, and Asadi was unable to continue her literary activity in Iran and was forced to close her social media accounts for months.
In December 2022, Asadi was welcomed as the ICORN resident in Hanover, Germany, through the Hannah Arendt Scholarship. Since arriving in Hanover, Atefeh has started researching New German Literature (Die Neue Deutsche Literatur/NDL), as well as possible cooperation with local publishers and book fairs. Asadi continues her literary activities and projects and her translation work and is hoping to publish her collection of stories in German.