Projects Projects

The Eighth Uncensored Book Fair in Oslo

Every year, Iranian publishers and authors residing in Europe and North America organized an uncensored book fair parallel to the corresponding fair in Tehran. The book fair is typically held at various countries, and its primary aim is to combat censorship in research, writing, and book publishing. During a period when the Iranian government’s censorship apparatus oppress and endanger many Iranian citizens within Iran, the fair serve as a platform to uphold values that resist censorship.

OWL Publication and several other publishing houses participated in past editions of the book fair. The objective was to foster a multicultural and dynamic environment, encouraging participation from all residents of Norway regardless of their linguistic, cultural, and historical backgrounds. The events usually included panel discussions, readings, and opportunities to explore and purchase Iranian literature.

 
Is Norway a HOUSE or a HOME for Queer immigrants?

Where there is warmth of heart, there is a home. Do you think Norway is warm-hearted to all of us queer immigrants?

A home is an atmosphere, a soil where a person has roots. A home is a soil where a person, like a tree, has sprouted and grown into a tree. The roots have gone deep into the ground over the years. This home can be a place on top of a green hill, the edge of a football field, or even an old street. A place a person feels they belong to.

A refugee wandering in this atmosphere never knows when it might be the last time they see these streets, windows, trees, and people. All refugees have faced a difficult time where they had to decide to stay or embark on a journey.

A journey to a distant place, a place far from their homeland. From home to a house. A place that is just a roof and foreign to them. The person has no historical memories of the atmosphere. An immigrant is like a tree with roots left in their homeland, but trying to establish its branches in the new country. They are thrown out of their safe environment into the unknown, without any roots.

The integration system does not work, because there is no understanding of this, nor is there a willingness to include. There is a force and inherent desire in part of the Norwegian system that we should become assimilated Norwegians, leaving our roots behind and changing our names to Ola and Kari. Call it what you will – but I call it xenophobia, racism, discrimination, and this is encountered by every newcomer immigrant.

But it gets worse – the conditions for a queer immigrant are much harder. They experience homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of phobia. We are talking about bullying, exclusion, discrimination, threats, loneliness, and ostracism. Not only from the new society but even from compatriots in the new society.

Here, the person becomes impervious to new blows and gradually withdraws into their own isolation. They have to go back into their closet. But this time, they are even more alone and isolated than before. This is the same house with cement walls and without a soul.

👉 Link to the project photo gallery

👉 Link to the debate post published in the Avisa Oslo newspaper (Norwegian)

The exhibition was opened by politician and member of the Norwegian parliament Seher Aydar. There was poetry by Homa, of Sunday Poetry Corner, as well as talks by researcher Wendy Hamelink and the photographers Benyamin Farnam and Iffit Qureshi.

Many people are involved in migration, but some more than others. Communities like the Kurds are spread out over many countries and diaspora is part of their daily lives. In this exhibition, photographers explore how living in exile, or living a life of alienation on one’s own land, impacts women. By turning the lens on Norway, but also on the homeland Kurdistan, the pictures shed new light on women’s experiences of daily life during and after conflict.

The exhibition shows three series of photographs: women as new citizens after their arrival in Norway, women as activists, and women who work in their homeland. The series explore the themes of womanhood, otherness, empowerment, and resilience in a context of insecurity, escape and new homelands for a dispersed community. They show the multidimensional and layered aspects of Kurdish women’s lives and activisms in Norway, and therewith evoke the audience to develop new insights and imaginations about (immigrant and Muslim) women’s lives.

👉 Link to the event

👉 Link to one of the panel discussions.

The Seventh Uncensored Book Fair in Oslo

Every year, Iranian publishers and authors residing in Europe and North America organized an uncensored book fair parallel to the corresponding fair in Tehran. The book fair is typically held at various countries, and its primary aim is to combat censorship in research, writing, and book publishing. During a period when the Iranian government’s censorship apparatus oppress and endanger many Iranian citizens within Iran, the fair serve as a platform to uphold values that resist censorship.

OWL Publication and several other publishing houses participated in past editions of the book fair. The objective was to foster a multicultural and dynamic environment, encouraging participation from all residents of Norway regardless of their linguistic, cultural, and historical backgrounds. The events usually included panel discussions, readings, and opportunities to explore and purchase Iranian literature.

 

Invisible Voices was a project aimed at creating and promoting queer culture in Norwegian society, focusing on queer immigrants and the challenges they face. In this project, I made a four-part documentary film about the most significant challenges in this journey. The sections of the documentary were titled Self-Identification, Coming Out, Asylum Status, and Integration into Norwegian Society. Additionally, I organized more than 15 panel debates and workshops across Norway and internationally with my team.

The project is supported by the Culture Council of Norway.

The project received considerable attention and was featured in several Norwegian media outlets.

👉 Documentary series

👉 Link to the BLIKK Magazine article that wrote about the project.

👉 Link to UTROP newspaper

👉 Link to a event

👉 Collaborate with Flukt Festivalen

In this project, I created a single-episode documentary film in collaboration with the Tøyen Municipality.

Stop Hate Speech is an international youth movement for human rights and against hate speech that has been active in over 40 countries. The movement was started by the Council of Europe’s Youth Council after the terror attacks on July 22, 2011, in the government quarter and on Utøya, to confront hate ideologies online.

Women in Exile - Photo exhibition in Oslo (2023)
Women in Exile - Photo exhibition in Oslo (2023)
Home or House
Home or House
Invisible Voices
Invisible Voices

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