- This event has passed.
[Finissage+Expo] Azerbaïdjan/Iran: A Nomadic Heritage par Tara Vatanpour
February 13 @ 7:30 pm
🎨 Dans le cadre de notre projet avec des artistes engagé.e.s sur les problématiques socio-politiques, nous avons le plaisir de vous inviter au finissage de l’exposition de “Azerbaïdjan/Iran: A Nomadic Heritage” par Tara Vatanpour.
🗓️ Le finissage aura lieu le 13 février à 19 h 30 au DISSIDENT club.
📍 L’adresse : 58 rue Richer, 75009 Paris.
À propos de l’exposition en anglais:
In 1918, the Battle of Baku separated Azerbaïdjan between the USSR (ASSR) and Iran. Then, Azerbaïdjan also went to war with Armenia until 1920. Later, Azerbaïdjan recovered partial independence, still governed by Russia and the Aliev family to this day, as a military block between Russia and Iran, in other words, a tool. The Southern part of Azerbaïdjan remains occupied by Iran, which government isn’t the Iranian government. The country is therefore struggling to culturally recover from several influences: Russian (Soviet Union), Armenian, Iranian, and the Islamic Regime.
The Azerbaïdjan from before 1918 and the Iran of before the Islamic Regime took over the country in 1979, became nomadic, even though already both countries had had many changes
and were culturally challenged by previous wars and invasions. The people who fled Baku many took refuge in the southern part of Azerbaïdjan occupied by the Iranian government in cities like
Tabriz, for example. They transported the culture, spoke Azari (the original language of Azerbaïdjan) in the streets, and learned Farsi (the main language of Iran) at school. Then, some left with the Iranian revolution or before, taking refuge all over the world. Many refugees went to Los Angeles, Paris, Stockholm, London, etc.
After the Iranian revolution, many Iranian people also had to do the same. They all transported the culture. The people remaining in old Azerbaïdjan, the new USSR then ‘freed’ Northern Azerbaïdjan and Iran started to see the influence, for the north of the Russians and in Iran and in the South of Azerbaïdjan influence of the Islamic Regime. In addition to the overall landscape of the cities being challenged and changed to fit with the new policies of the government, the loud Persian culture becomes quieter, underground.
On the other sides of the world, the refugees create restaurants, to remember the taste of food, of home. They create events and gather together to connect with their culture, and friends, find a sense of belonging and family. Together, they can speak the language. Then, they wait. Some create political parties. They hope that the situation will change and they will be able to go
home. In the meantime, the second-generation refugees, the ‘born in exile,’ are brought up. Some of them speak the language, but they also have to learn the host language. Some of them will
refuse, or not be able to speak Farsi or Azari maybe they will take classes later, but it may no stick. – A sense of overall panic takes over because they will not be able to pass on this aspect of
the culture to the next generation. It will gradually be lost. Maybe they will be able to pass on the ‘taroof’ (a tradition of offering showing in the manners, languages and gestures), and some of the traditions like the celebration of the Persian New Year the day of Spring in the Western calendar. The different calendars and names of the months, are adapted to the Western calendar of the
host culture and alongside with the alphabet, numbers, etc, will potentially become lost or broken parts of the culture, begging to be recovered. Additionally, there is the question of what will
happen for the kids and grandkids of the ‘born in exile.’ A new expectation is placed for them to marry someone of their own culture, better even: someone that just got out of Iran. That way, they will make sure the heritage will be transmitted. But there is another side of these stories, the side of those who choose to forget. Indeed, many immigrants make a most drastic choice: to rarely speak the language again, to go completely immerse themselves and their kids into the host culture. They merge and transform.
In the paintings and drawings presented, we pay attention to symbolism: many symbols, color schemes and cultural patterns are represented to create a visual representation of the Azerbaïdjan and Iranian culture. The navigation of these landscapes takes us on a journey to an eternal research of home. In that moment, we are living the nomadic aspect of these cultures. In a way, these objects of art, become a symbol of that search and witness as a story that has been told. In the paintings and drawings, are scattered hints of a story. Depicting in a secret what has happened. Storytelling becomes the heart of transmission, far more closer to the truth than can be government reports and silence-challenged history books, meaning they can sometimes disclose a false truth giving away the story these governments need be spread, aka not the truth.
The spiritual aspect of those paintings, the reference to ancestry and the that so-called could be defined ‘shamanic traveling’ of the paintings also honor the cultural heritage of those cultures. In
my Azerbaïdjan-Iranian culture, many pray to the dead and travel in their sleep. We get help and messages from the other side, that in fact is in our hearts and all around us.
As can be preconized the identity building of the first-generation immigrants and the later ‘born in exile’ descendants will be challenged. Unless a clear awareness of the multi-cultural
factors included in our identity is clearly stated, understood and integrated, many battle between the lost part of themselves, the parts that are ignored, pushed away or misunderstood.
In the hope of a patrimonial reconstitution and future vectors allowing the commemoration of these nomadic cultures, this exhibition aims to a testimonial and educational means for those
who have never heard of these places, for those who are part of that heritage, and to keep on reminding ourselves of the importance of transmission and what we transmit. We speak of what we choose to transmit, which should be the truth, and in what way. We speak also of how to preserve what has been transmitted, so to not aimlessly transmit. And lastly, the paintings aim to answer to the following calling: in order to accept the present transformation of Azerbaïdjan and Iran, in order to build a future country, that can be with or without freedom and democracy, we have to look at the past to make an informed decision.
Biographie de l’artiste en anglais:
TARA BANIAHMAD VATANPOUR PRADO CATAO is a multicultural artist of Persian-Azerbaïdjani Brazilian descent. She encompasses a cross-continental international political practice. Her work articulates political and social thoughts, feminism, violence, immigration, and impersonisation, using current issues to reflect on past history and to build new thoughts and systems.
With drawing, painting, performance art, and fashion, she has exhibited and performed in Italy, London, Paris, and Israel.
From a solid background in Fine Arts, her practice is enriched by a philosophy study as well as an interest in fashion design, literature, and dance-theater. After growing up between the Azari-Iranian culture, and between Iran, Paris, Los Angeles, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, London, and Berlin, Tara decided to finish her BFA in an international school in Paris, and to establish herself as a Fine Art artist while keeping her international travels active.
Interested in performance art, she uses this medium to link her different practices embodying a Princess from Azerbaïdjan and Brazil who would have the strength and self- confidence to carry her political cultural economical baggage.
Entrée libre !