picture me in diaspora, 2018
mirror 50x60 cm
c-prints 9 x 13 cm

For many years, my parents took pictures of us children and of us as a family for my grandparents who lived in Iran. All photos shared a similar aesthetic and should convey a specific image of Vienna / abroad. The photos were mostly taken in front of prestigious buildings, water landscapes or flowers. The mediation of an idyll was in the foreground beyond the real difficulties and challenges we faced in everyday life.
These photos once again had a great value for my grandparents and were prominently positioned in the flat. In a mirror and on the living room ledge, they found a worthy place. During visits I saw myself in the mirror and at the same time  I saw the photos from Vienna. A moment in which the contradiction found its visualization.

With picture me in diaspora I start my first self-portrait series. It is an exploration of the topic of identity. Especially the relationship between me and my family in Iran and my life in the diaspora. A work on the issues of identity in a white majority society as well as the discrimination and unequal treatment of Women* of colour in the European diaspora. It is the thematisation of a (desired) image and the reality. A personal topic that I share with many people living in the diaspora at the same time.
In the series picture me in diaspora, I continuously take self-portraits in the aesthetics of those diaspora photos, as I like to call them. A continuation of the enactment in a certain way. I position them in my grandmother's mirror, the only material memory left to me after her death. I wonder what my grandmother thought when she saw us and herself in the mirror.

© Sepideh Hassani 2024