Sepideh Sadatizarrini


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    Artistic and research interests

    Sepideh Rahaa (1981, Iran) is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher and educator based in Helsinki. Through her practice, she actively investigates and questions prevailing power structures, social norms and conventions while focusing on womanhood, storytelling and everyday resistances. Her research and artistic work have been thoroughly informed by intersectional feminist and critical race theories as well as indigenous, postcolonial and decolonial theories and practices. Her aim is to initiate methods through contemporary art practice to create spaces for dialogue. She seeks these interests through collaborative ongoing projects. Her current doctoral research and work is fully funded by the Kone Foundation. Rahaa's artistic practice combines different disciplines including film and video, performance art, painting, poetry, photography and installation. Her work has been exhibited and screened in Europe, East and West Asia.


    Since 2015, Rahaa has been actively participating in debates and taking actions regarding the art politics in Finland by being a member at Third Space Collective (2015-), Globe Art Point (2016- 2021) and Nordic Network for Norm Critical Leadership (2018-) among other collaborative projects. Her work has been supported by Finnish Cultural Foundation (Suomen Kulttuurirahasto), Taike (Arts Promotion Center Finland), Frame Contemporary Art Finland, AVEK (The Promotion Center for Audiovisual Culture), Nylands Svenska Kulturfonds and Visek Kuvasto (Finnish copyright society for visual artists). 

    Through her doctoral studies at Aalto’s Art Department, she has thoroughly investigated own lived experiences together with experiences of other women with roots in SWANA (South & West Asia and North Africa, politically known as Middle East) who have lived in Finland for a significant amount of time. Result of this investigation manifests in multiple parallel art productions which are focused on concepts of womanhood, everyday life, as well as challenging the problematics of representations in contemporary art, whiteness and stereotypical perceptions of other related to migration and embodiments in contemporary art.


    Main questions of the research: How women and their bodies and entities are politicized in societies and in contemporary art? What form of resistances exist? What is the role of contemporary art in addressing complex/difficult subjects in society and what methods it employs to address/represent them? How to tackle stereotypical, discriminative and problematic representations/perceptions by means of contemporary art and its narratives in public place? Whose voice is being heard in society and through contemporary art practices and its representations? by whom and how?

    A Dream That Came True? (since 2016-2021) is one of Rahaa’s doctoral artistic projects with the multiform media production. As it is reflected in the title of the project, it questions migration as a dream (utopia) from perspective of the (migrant) women, with an aim to reflect on their lived experiences, different ways of being, socio-cultural adaptions, resistances and struggles which one may face in society, offering different narratives than existing ones. The project intends to challenge the preconceived stereotypical perceptions of the women and their roles in Finland by resisting against the accepted norms and conventions related to women from certain geographies, privileging their perspectives over the other ones avoiding them from being an only side-track in the narratives in West. 

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    Taiteen maisteri

    Award Date: 29 Jul 2016


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