Zohreh Etezad Saltaneh is a 49-year-old Iranian artist born with a birth defect that affected the growth of her arms, who manages to paint, weave and do house chores with her feet.
Born in 1962, Zohreh struggled with her condition at first, but says she owes everything she has achieved to her parents, who “brought me up in such a way that I have become self-reliant.“ Chores that once seemed impossible to do with only her feet gradually became easier and, although things like shopping are still a bit challenging, she can now do some things even better than normal people. It has taken her over four decades but “now I have come to terms with this issue. Sometimes when I’m working, I don’t necessarily think ‘these’ are my feet, or that I don’t actually have any hands.”
Zohreh remembers her mother put the paint brush between her toes at a very young age and encouraged to express herself in an artistic way. But not even her mother could have foreseen Zoreh’s success in the artworld – she has received numerous awards and her paintings have been showcased in over 60 national and international exhibitions. She is a member of the International Association of Painters and is currently studying for a masters in psychology. “My slogan has always been: ‘being disabled does not mean being restricted’,” she says, and her life achievement stand as proof.