Mandana Moghaddam knows firsthand the refugee’s sense of loss and displacement, hope and renewal. At age 21 she fled Iran after her father was executed in the revolution and she was barred from higher education as a penalty for political activities. After five years in transition in Turkey, she was granted asylum in Sweden, where she lives today. Her video installation captures that experience through the motion of suitcases adrift on the ocean, lost in passage — the baggage of our worldly goods that both protect us and expose us, cloak us and mark us as individuals or as members of a certain culture. The uncertainty of their delicate dance on the waves, and the comfort of reaching solid ground, evoke empathy and a desolate sense of loss, amplified by the sheer simplicity and beauty of the images.
- Installation Views
In the early 1980s Mandana Moghaddam fled the turmoil and violence in her home country, eventually landing in Sweden, which granted her asylum. The struggles of refugees and the citizens of war-torn states are ever-present in her work, which was featured at the 51st Venice Biennial. She currently divides her time between Sweden and Tehran.