Áváreh & Found

Second Generation Collective

Áváreh & Found is a visual poem; a creative expression that bears witness to the lived experiences of First and Second generations Iranian-Australians.

Curated by local artists Asha Kiani & Elham Eshraghian-.Haakansson, the exhibition is a culmination of works by the Second Generation Collective. Using multi-modal art forms, Áváreh & Found explores the journey of the First Generation who fled Iran during the 1979 Revolution, and their children, the Second Generation, who have grown up in Boorloo, Western Australia. The artists have passionately engaged with their community over a year-long process, unwrapping the stories of their families who navigated execution and imprisonment due to religious persecution during dramatic socio- political shifts implemented in Iranian culture. Hearing from their elders, parents, grandparents and peers, the Collective has used The Arts to disentangle the complexities of growing up as Iranian-Australians with a dual-identity, a complex cultural heritage, and a yearning to identify with ‘home.’
Áváreh (meaning ‘homeless’ in Farsi) and Found, searches for the meaning of home - with all its nuances. What is home? Is it the place you are born? The birthplace of your ancestors? Is it what is determined on your passport or where you grew up? What is home when you are no longer wanted? When it is no longer safe? The art weaves archival and contemporary motifs to represent the sliding door moments between freedom and execution, the loss and recollection of memory in historical and existing trauma and the tension experienced from assimilating whilst grappling with feelings of ‘otherness.’
Through a lens of authentic curation and communal care, Kiani & Eshraghian-Haakansson have engaged with philosophies that ask: how can we live as a complex, unified whole where differences are embraced, and diversity is celebrated? How do we create a compassionate foundation from which our truths are heard and acknowledged? What does it take to truly understand the process of healing in our communities? The exhibition aims to untangle the fragments of what it means to listen and understand moments of suffering, hardship, hope and faith in the human experience; to embrace the universality of grief and normalise expressing our truths so that xenophobia, estrangement, & apathy are replaced with connection, empathy and oneness.

Áváreh & Found culminates in an immersive experience as viewers migrate within the unique architecture of the historical PS building. Amidst the pillars of the gallery, truths are inimitably unveiled through the threads of video art, live performance, audio works, paintings, sculpture and the archival. Each element confronts the notion of the ‘passive bystander,’ inviting the viewer to reflectively walk amongst the vulnerability and courage of personal stories that shape part of the Iranian-Australian Community of Boorloo/Perth.


We humbly give thanks and acknowledge that this project is presented on the boodja of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation and pay our respects to their communities and Elders past, present and emerging. Throughout this project, Asha Kiani & Elham Eshraghian- Haakansson facilitated a safe and therapeutic workshop series with their community. An art therapist supported the process of unlocking creative passages to understanding and acknowledging our history and identity. Arjang Pirmorady, Nouranieh Kiani, Dr. Hessom Razavi.

Participating Artists:
Raneen Kousari, Writer
Araan Kousari, Soundscape Artist
Elisha Rahimi, Performer & Vocalist Naseem Taheri-Lee, Calligraphy Ashkaan Hadi, Sound Production
Aidee Varan, Dancer
Ramona Zare, Sculptor
Khashayar Salmanzadeh, Painter
The MCN collective, musicians
Fariba Fanaian, painter
Karmel Faithi, digital design
Gabriella Lillo-Shakibaie, dancer
Renya Golestani, violinist
Asha Kiani, sound scape and performance artist
Elham Eshraghian-Hakaansson, video artist

Funding Acknowledgements:
Community Arts Network Lotterywest’s Dream Plan Do 2020
Second Generation Collective Drug Aware YCulture MetroGrant 2020.
Drug Aware, Healthway and Propel Youth Arts
WA City of Fremantle Neighbourhood Quick Response Grant 2021

Commissioned by Runway Journal in partnership with Carriageworks, ‘Divine’, Runway Journal [Online] & ‘No Show’, Carriageworks, Sydney. Feb 12 - Mar 7, 2021. Courtesy the artists

ABC Story with Roanna Edwards on Saturday Broadcast from Saturday 1 May 2021. Duration: 9min 43sec:

MCN album preview night & Artist talk: Sunday 2 May 2pm -5pm
PS CONVERSATIONS: Saturday 15 May from 4pm