Monday, December 07, 2009

On a Photographic Series on Half-Persian Families: The truth of the persecution, 2009

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Another valuable artistic offering from World Art Collective.

 Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh:

The Truth About the Persecution

, 2009

Displacement of a generation

In my photographic/sound series, I am addressing the Baha’i Persian Diaspora that happened in the 1980’s post Iranian revolution. Thousands upon thousands of Persian Bahá’ís left Iran when the fanatical regime came to power. The Bahá’í communities in Iran are still being oppressed till this day and human rights violations are directed towards their communities. Thousands of Bahá’ís since 1979 have been killed, imprisoned, or otherwise oppressed. They are being persecuted solely because of their religious beliefs.

In my photographic series I have taken pictures of families, in which one of the spouses is Persian and has left their homeland due to the persecution. They have married into new cultures, living in a new environment. They are displaced from their home land and extended families but they have begun a new life and family in another country. This act of displacement and place is what interested me. The children of these couples are identified to be half persian but they do not always carry that identity of place or culture. They speak broken Farsi, somtimes identifying english as their mother language and are unable to read or write in Farsi. They lack the identity of culture even though they carry the Persian names within their own names.

Just as important as the photographs are the names that the family members have inherited. They are hybrid combinations, of Persian and another ethnic group. This is what I find most fascinating.

Artist Biography

Born in 1985, Iloilo City, Philippines.

Shahriar came to New Zealand at the age of four. He is the son of a Persian father and Filipino mother whose relatives were executed in Iran in the 1980’s for their belief in the Bahá’í faith. His artwork marries contemporary art and the internet to examine issues of global social and human injustices, particularly the Declaration of Human Rights. Themes of persecution and resistance are recurrent in his practice.

Shahriar explores what can be achieved through the gesture of protest, combining contemporary mediums of practice and how they can influence the overall outcome. These were done through photography, sculpture, video, installation, sound, internet social networking websites and communication technology (e-mail and text messaging). To this date Shahriar has involved thousands of participants from around the world in his artworks. He says,

“I have always been interested in the power of technology, particularly the internet, in opening broad avenues of interaction among the world’s diverse populations. Artists are now able to use global communication as a medium to express the arts. They have the opportunity to utilise and tap into popular culture phenomena such as online social programmes and reach out to new audiences and like-minded people through cyber space. I want to engage those who have been previously unexposed to what contemporary art can achieve socially and expand beyond the confines of a traditional art gallery setting”.


Posted via email from Baha'i Views

1 comment:

cameron said...

Keep up the good work Shahriar! I am also 1/2 Persian and can relate.

Cheers brother!