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ABOUT THE EXHIBITION My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile is a sound, video and interactive work highlighting the loss and longing for ancestral cultural literacy, created by Golboo Amani in collaboration with Maryam Hafizirad and Mohammad Rezaei. Through personal interviews and poetic recitations this digital exhibition unpacks the fear of cultural erasure and the longing for ancestral kinship experienced by immigrants and diaspora.

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زبان مادری من داغ لهجه تبعید دارد.

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MY MOTHER TONGUE IS BURDENED BY THE ACCENT OF EXILE

An interactive sound and video exhibition, told in six parts.

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1 / 3
play

A.


Well okay,
تو این رو عین robot می خونی
متوجه ای چه جوریه
you got to… you got to give it a bit of passion there,
a bit of feeling.

2 / 3
play

A.

قلعه well, قلعه is the… is the… what they call it… the fortress.

G.

And افسانه ?

A.

افسانه is a story, is the legend.

G.

And پیر is old.

A.

Yeah, exactly.

3 / 3
play

A.


This is all the traditions of any storytelling
یکی بود یکی نبود ، متوجه ای ، تنگ غروب ، اینها همه
this is all the way… the way a storyteller any
good storyteller is setting up the conditions.

PART TWO

1 / 8
play

M.

گلپر هم حتی بچه بود ، بخاطر همینی که هم یک زبونی که یاد گرفته باشه واسه خودش میخواستیم یک خرده کانفیدنس پیدا کنه. اون با اون صداش عین یک جوجه ی کوچولو بود.

2 / 8
play

A.

سئوال جالبیه. اولا فارسی ‌‌(توضیح بکن) نیست. (توضیح بده‌). این که یک آره.

3 / 8
play

M.

لهجه فارسی تو شکسته ست ورب هاش وفقط میتونید بگین ورب ش چیه ولی نمیتونید درست گذشته یا الان یا آینده را درست بگین یا اینکه ت بی خودی بهش میدین .عین انگلیسی من ، منهم یک موقع ها ر اضافه میدم س اضافه میدم شما هام فارسی تون اون جوریه. مثلا تو صحبت هاتون میشنوم که ، ولی منظورتونو تو جمله وقتی صحبت می کنید ، میگم مثل انگلیسی های ما که یک انگلیسی زبون گوش میده میفهمه می خوایم چی بگیم.

4 / 8
play

M.

ولی همیشه میگن ، میگن آتیش زیر خاکستره . الان دنیا زیر خاکستره . ولی زیرش ولی همیشه میگن ، میگن آتیش زیر خاکستره . الان دنیا زیر خاکستره . ولی زیرش آتیشه. این آتیش هم یک مدتی تو خاکستر ها روش میمونه. ولی اون زیر سرخه. شاملو حرف همین حالا رو زده خیلی ها این پیش بینی این روزها رو کردن .

5 / 8
play

A.

Again, the old story of the devil and the god,
the fair or the good and the bad
or whatever.
You understand what I’m saying?
This is, this is what it is.

6 / 8
play

A.

عمو زنجیر باف بله
زنجیر منو بافتی
بله
پشت کوه انداختی
بله
بابا اومده
چی چی آورده
نخود و کشمش
بخور و بیا
با صدای چی

7 / 8
play

M.

بچه ها، من همیشه فکر کردم یک شعر قشنگ یاد میگیرند و برای آیندشون وقتی که بخوان بچه ها، من همیشه فکر کردم یک شعر قشنگ یاد میگیرند و برای آیندشون وقتی که بخوان حرف بزنند قشنگ حرف میزنند.
ولی با شعر خیلی چیز ها را یاد میگیریم و میمونه توذهنمون بخاطر اینکه شعره.

8 / 8

PART THREE

1 / 2
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A.

This goes beyond history, this goes before history, this is where there is no history.

M.

خوب یک مسشج هم توی همه ی این شعر ها بود. و شاید یک دلیلش برای اینکه یکی بود یکی نبود و یک حالت قصه بود.

2 / 2
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A.

شعر، شعر تمام دنیای منه، شعر ، شعر درهمه زبانها و ادبیات و فرهنگهای مختلف دنیا یک جایگاه بالایی داره. ولی توی فرهنگ پارسی وزبون پارسی یک چیز کاملا استثناییه. حالا واسه توضیح شاید . توی فرهنگ فارسی تاریخ به شعره ، فلسفه به شعره ، نصیحت به شعره ، ملامت به شعره ، همه چی به شعره. راز عاشقانه به شعره ، فحش استاد به شعره ، تنبیه پدر به شعره ، همه چی به شعره. اینه که شعر کلید فهم این فرهنگه . بدون فهم شعر و دونستن زبون شعر حتی هیچ پارسی زبونی نمیتونه مستقیما به اون عمق فرهنگ خودش دسترسی پیدا کنه. و به هر حال از یک جایی لازمه ماجراست. به اضافه اینکه شعر اصولا جزیی از جدا ناپذیر از این زبونه.
اولین چیزی که یک بچه ای که روی قبل از یک سالگی روی زانو می نشونند و بهش یاد میدن و دستش را میگیرن و میگن
لی لی لی لی حوضک کنار سبزک جو جو اومد آب بخوره .....
زبون فارسی و شعر از همین جا ، ازهمین جا با هم آمیخته اند.

play

M.

عروسک قشنگ من قرمز پوشیده
تورختخواب مخمل آبی خوابیده
عروسک من چشماتو باز کن
وقتی که شب شد اونوقت لالا کن
حالا بلند شو بریم تو حیاط
شن بازی و توپ بازی و طناب بازی کن

PART FOUR

1 / 2
play

G.

By قلعه افسانه پیر do they mean like tradition?

A.

Yes, the traditions, you know… and where these traditions are protected and preserved… in a fortress, you understand? The Fortress of what? The fortress of stories.

2 / 2

PART FIVE

1 / 2
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A.

Well, exactly you see the پریا are the symbol of the nicest beings on this earth… and if they crying like that …

G.

Then something must be wrong…

A.

Then something is wrong… why? But they do not cry for themselves. You understand.

G.

Yeah, they cry for thought the state of the world.

A.

They cry for the people, exactly.

play

M.

خوب توی خونه دیدم کمتر فارسی صحبت میشه و همه داریم باهم انگلیسی .. برای همین با احمد هم نشستیم صحبت کردیم گفتم باید تو خونه فارسی صحبت کنیم . بیشتر تمرکزم روی این بود که بچه هام حتما تو خونه فارسی حرف بزنند و چون ما اونها را آ وردیم اینجا و مسئولیت ماست که بچه هامون زبون مادریشون یادشون باشه. انگلیسی را که بهر حال یاد میگرفتند.

2 / 2
play

A.

جواب این سئوال آنقدرساده نیست من فقط میتونم که استنباط خودم را ازش واست بگم. ما اگریک دنیای واقعی داشته باشیم و یک دنیای خیالی . سئوالی که پیش میاد اینه که دنیای قصه کجای این قرار میگیره.
توی دنیای واقعی یا توی قسمت دنیای خیالی ؟
شاید این خصوصیت قصه باشه واگر برگردیم به خط اول ماجرا میبینی که اینها پریای قصه اند و این خودش شاید ایجاد ارتباطی باشه بین دنیای واقعیت ، دنیای خیال ودنیای قصه.
دنیای قصه تنها جایی یه که خیالها میتونند نقش واقعیت به خودشون بگیرند.

play

M.

یعنی در بعد از تاریکی ، روشنایی ، امید روشنایی میده . چون تاریکی رو توشن. مردم هم فداپ شدن .
ولی اینی که سر به کوه میذاره یعنی باید تلاش بکنند تا برسن به اون نقطه ی بلندی که میخوان .

PART SIX

1 / 2
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A.

This being Persian بابا you just think with yourself after you disconnect this conversation and just think about it… how many times your feeling change with this issue. When you hated it… when you get your attention again… when you decided to go have a look again… then you get you know… a little bit interested about it… you know what I mean? This is very dynamic… it’s not… things… human beings بابا fuck… it’s a very complicated.

play

G.

I guess for me. It's just like… difficult to be Persian in this like… completely removed from the source kind of way. You know that being Persian for me is not an organic process…

A.

That’s true.

G.

It's literally a constructed process.

A.

I understand that the part that is really puzzling me and I'm interested in it… is why can’t you let it go? The thing is… again that part of it… well is not that big of deal… I can’t let it go, is not a big deal at all… I know why I cannot let go. But why can’t you let it go, that is a big deal.

2 / 2

My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile

Golboo Amani
2020


Collaborators

Maryam Hafizirad
Mohammad Rezaei

Production

Ahmad Amani
Mahshid Amani
Tala Jalili
Danielle Leddy
David Blackmore

Curator

Letticia Cosbert Miller

Designer

Natasha Whyte-Gray



PRESENTED BY

Koffler.Digital

Produced and presented by Koffler.Digital, a program of the Koffler Centre of the Arts, that provides a virtual space where artists create, experiment and develop new work for the digital realm. To learn more, visit koffler.digital



With support from
EQ Bank

Made possible through the generous support of EQ Bank, a digital banking platform committed to celebrating and elevating the work of digital artists across Canada. To learn more, visit eqbank.ca

MY MOTHER TONGUE IS BURDENED BY THE ACCENT OF EXILE

My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile is a sound, video and interactive work highlighting the loss and longing for ancestral cultural literacy, created by Golboo Amani in collaboration with Maryam Hafizirad and Mohammad Rezaei. Through personal interviews and poetic recitations this digital exhibition unpacks the fear of cultural erasure and the longing for ancestral kinship experienced by immigrants and diaspora.

As young children, Golboo Amani’s parents assigned her and her older sister poems to memorize and recite. These poems, which took the form of fairy tales, were about dark times and hopeful futures. They were given as gifts, and tied them to their ancestors and a motherland they have yet to experience. These were the offerings of immigrant parents who feared the impending loss of their mother tongue and with it their cultural heritage.

My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile is a visual and auditory recitation of “Pariya" by Ahmad Shamlu, the poem Amani was assigned to learn as a child. In collaboration with artist Maryam Hafizirad, the work responds to the Iranian tradition of poetry as a teaching tool for cultivating cultural literacy and language skills. The work addresses the linguistic mechanisms of inclusion and otherness, while also unpacking the poem’s meaning through various forms of translation and interpretation.

While popularized by iconic poets like Hafez and Rumi, poetry and oral compositions have long been the fabric of Persian culture. The tradition spans several millennia, and has been used to expound on philosophy, science and virtually every other field of scholarship. A conventional Iranian education included the memorization of poems and verses as part of standard education. Elders, including Amani’s parents, still recite the poems and proverbs of their childhood. In modern times, however, political turmoil produced poems that eluded the triggers of censorship through metaphor and fantasy. Ahmad Shamlu and his fairy tale poem “Pariya” is one such example.

This multimedia recitation of “Pariya” centres divergent articulations, marking them as the conditions of diaspora, and acknowledging the shifts in cultural literacy between a generation of expats and their displaced kin.

GOLBOO AMANI

Multi-disciplinary artist Golboo Amani is best known for her performance and social practice works. Amani often relies on familiar social engagements as a point of entry into her practice. Critical of systemic social patterns, the artist views social situations as ready-made sites for aesthetic intervention.

Acknowledging that many of us are marked by long, personal histories and prescribed relationships with pedagogy, Amani’s work often addresses the conditions of knowledge production that render epistemic violence as invisible, insignificant and benign. Much of her work focuses on interventions or alternatives to formal sites of pedagogy to include forms, contexts and content normally excluded from institutionalized knowledge production. By expanding sites of pedagogy to include the streets, backyards, homes, public transit, Amani intends to produce non-hierarchical pedagogical experiences that speak to collective agency and egalitarian epistemology.

Amani’s work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues including the Creative Time Summit, Art Gallery of Ontario, Articule, XPACE Artist-Run Centre, Encuentro: Hemispheric Institute, Union Gallery, Blackwood Gallery, Rats9 Gallery, Rhubarb Festival, FADO Emerging Artist Series, TRANSMUTED International Festival of Performance Art (Mexico City), 221A Artist-Run Centre, and the LIVE Biennial of Performance Art.

MOHAMMAD REZAEI

Mohammad Rezaei is an interdisciplinary artist, activist, curator, designer, web developer, community organizer and arts administrator currently residing in Toronto, Canada. Born in Iran, Rezaei immigrated to suburban streets of Calgary, Canada in his early teens. His experiences as a person with a middle eastern descent living on colonized land has deeply influenced his creative practice. His artistic practice is informed by his experiences coordinating and collaborating to make exhibitions happen. Rezaei revels in experimental approaches to making digital and IRL display strategies brought together with intentions of community building. Rezaei’s interests have led him to contribute to the establishment of exhibition spaces and art festivals, extensive involvement with artist-run centers and galleries across Canada while maintaining an independent arts and curatorial practice.

Rezaei’s projects have been funded through successful grants from Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. From 2013-2016, he was the Director of Programming at Whippersnapper Gallery in Toronto. Since 2012 Rezaei has curated and exhibited works at Truck Contemporary Art in Calgary, Contemporary Calgary, Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, 7a*11d Performance Art Festival, Xpace Cultural Centre and The New Gallery. He has published art criticism for the Canvas Magazine, Calgary Biannual, Emmedia Production House and Gallery, and Fuse Magazine.




MARYAM HAFIZIRAD

Maryam Hafizirad is an Iranian painter, from Isfahan, Iran who is Deaf. A permanent resident of Canada, Maryam graduated from Isfahan University of Fine Arts in 2002. Maryam’s first exhibition was in Iran at the age of 18. Since then her award winning works have been shown individually and as part of the artistic group “Farda”, meaning “Tomorrow”, in major cities of Iran, China, Germany, Malaysia and India.

Koffler.Digital

Koffler.Digital is a program of the Koffler Centre of the Arts that provides a virtual space where artists working in the field of New Media/New Genres are able to create, experiment and develop new work; and where conversation and dialogue between artists, activists and creatives is encouraged and documented.

Koffler.Digital is committed to the intersection of social justice and artistic practice that is central to the mandate of the Koffler Centre of the Arts. We collaborate with artists, authors and individuals whose work engages issues affecting marginalized communities; who explore injustice and who look to spur constructive change and dialogue in regard to the current socio-political climate.

Koffler.Digital has two specific programming directions. The first involves fostering artists working in the digital realm, and the second involves conversations with diverse creatives with different perspectives. These conversations take the form of written and video/audio interviews, essays, plays, performances and creative writing.