Hasteem ”We Are Here”

Twelve Gates Arts (12G) and The Collective for Black Iranians are hosting “Hasteem: We Are Here” from September 3-24, 2021, with an opening reception on September 12, 2021, from 1-3 pm.

The Collective for Black Iranians is a creative and critically conscious initiative proposing an Iranian culture that stands fully at its Black and African intersections.
Hasteem: We are here هستیم – اینجاییم ما is an exhibition produced by the Collective for Black Iranians to raise further awareness on the intersection of being Black, African and Iranian. Through poetry, visuals, historical facts, and using a myriad of other mediums, the Collective affirms the interconnectedness between Blackness and the Iranian identity.
This inaugural art exhibit from the Collective for Black Iranians brings you a sample of otherwise silenced ‘histories.’ Histories such as that of Khyzran trafficked into slavery from Zanzibar to 19th
century Iran to that of the Zang rebellion and the pearl divers. The Collective with resident historian Professor Beeta Baghoolizadeh and resident artist Mina M. Jafari brings creative reality to these intersectional segments of history, thereby widening horizons by unearthing erased stories between Africa and Iran.
The exhibit powerfully brings for the first time in the Iranian community the words ” زیباست سیاه“ Black is Beautiful. This series is in collaboration with artists from across the diaspora and beyond. The sample produced by the Collective brings you a collaboration with Iranian British artist Sahar Ghorishi. It is an artistic invitation by the Collective into the intersection of Blackness, Iranianness, Iran, and Africa, an invitation into seeing Blackness within Iranian identity and Iranian identity within Black/African identity.
The Collective will come to creatively disrupt the 12G gallery space with its trailblazing Consciousness series, a call to shift the conversation around Africa and Blackness. Introducing thoughts and proverbs from the most acclaimed Black/African and of African descent, authors, and changemakers worldwide, the Collective comes with Iranian American artists Kimia Fatehi and Black American artist Chyna Dumas.

And trailblazing further, the Collective is displaying art from Afro Iranian artists based in Southern Iran, Arefeh Avazzadeh and Sarah Farajzadeh from Bandar Abbas and Bandar Bushehr, Iran, as well as featuring short films directed by a range of Black and Afro-Iranians in and outside of Iran, including founding members Priscillia Kounkou Hoveyda and Alex Eskandarkhah.