Residency artists and researchers

Multidisciplinary art

Nomad Collective

Sepideh Rahaa, Farzaneh Soleimani, Mehran Mardani

We plan to create a bridge between Iran and Finland which benefits the both sides of the bridge artistically, environmentally and culturally. We have established our collaboration since last year by exchanging our knowledge. This year we held a live seminar on ecofeminism, women and earth and contemporary art and will continue with the artistic exchanges between Finland and Iran. This residency will provide us with a unique opportunity to collaborate and build together as well as to exchange strategies and practices. As part of our residency we will investigate the relationship between human and nature in Iran and in Finland and their diverse regions. In the Iranian case the figures of women and water, specifically the Aruse-Ghanat (in English Bride of Ghanat, the Iranian well, where a woman is the protector of water) will be the center of our attention. We will seek possible links between Iran and Finland.

During the residency, we work on ancient rituals related to nature in Finland and Iran. What are their meanings in today’s world? While investigating ceremonial, songs and anthropological meanings of them, we will write and establish discussions, also will perform at the Saari residency’s environment. Our residency will be around the process rather than outcome; however, our aim is to physically and mentally engage with each other and with the natural environment at the residency. We will combine visual arts, performance, poetry and music to establish our work.

Womanhood, nature, ecofeminism and environmental justice are at the core of our residency work. How can Global South and Global North connect and unite to create a meaningful change in their localities? We will focus on natural elements, particularly water, the ancient rituals related to these elements in Iran and in Finland; ceremonies and traditional celebrations, changes in nature (including diversity of seasons and four natural elements), semiotics, and symbolism through performing in nature.



Sepideh Rahaa is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher based in Helsinki. She investigates and questions prevailing power structures, social norms, and conventions while focusing on womanhood, storytelling, and everyday resistances. Rahaa aims to initiate and create spaces for dialogue, influenced by feminist politics, decolonial and postcolonial theories and practices as well as social and environmental justice. Her current project Songs to Earth Songs to Seeds is on display at Helsinki Biennial and Liverpool Biennial. The project highlights issues of food security, access to clean water and nourishment as well as the importance of the traditions of sustainable cultivation in the current climate emergency. It brings to the fore the often invisible and inaccessible process of rice cultivation, the second most important staple food in the world.

Farzaneh Soleimani Neisiani is an interdisciplinary artist born in the south of Iran who returned to her family’s hometown in Isfahan at the age of five due to the Iran-Iraq war and grew up in this cultural and artistic city. Farzaneh has been active in the field of women studies as well as cultural and natural heritage, and she founded the Hoorshid Art Residency/House which is a cultural art centre where she hosts and accommodates artists, art masters and sociocultural, environmental and health activists in Zardanjan Village in Isfahan. Her main approach has been to pay more attention to cultural and natural heritage in rural areas. The Hoorshid Resdeince endeavours to make the audience aware of the current state of the environment as well as the earth and to study its effects by ecologists and artists. The action of the audience, the artist, and its effects, especially on the local community, have always been important. Farzaneh is graduated with a doctorate in art research from Shahed University of Tehran and has entered the field of interdisciplinary arts since 2008. She also attempts to promote interdisciplinary art, considering her many years of activity in the field of handicrafts, tourism, and cultural heritage, and is always looking for a space for dialogue between old and new art.

Mehran Mardani is a musician and English language teacher. He has been playing music since year 2000 and professionally plays two Iranian instruments Santoor and Tombak. As a musician and researcher in the field, he has attended different artistic and cultural programs. Beside playing music, he has been instructing music for many years. Mehran has been collaborating with Hoorshid Art House since their two-year program with a diverse group of artists performing as a musician and acting as an interpreter with knowledge on ecofeminism and environment.