In Between: Video Art from Tajikistan


In Between: Video and Film from Tajikistan
Co-Curated by Olga Stefan/Itinerant Projects and Stefan Rusu
Produced by Itinerant Projects
November 23, 7pm, Dock18, Rote Fabrik, Zurich
with the support of Open Society, Tajikistan

Screening is followed by a panel discussion:
“The grey zones of free expression in artistic production” with artist Alla Rumyantseva, and curators Olga Stefan and Stefan Rusu.

my article from 2015 about artists in Tajikistan:

The following video selections prepared by Stefan Rusu:

2014 | video | 4’55 |
Tuychieva Surayo

“In this film, I tried to analyse the gender issue. In Soviet times, schoolgirl were wearing the red Pioneer tie around there neck, signifying that they belong to the Soviet youth, which brought on the basis of Communist ideology of atheism. They followed the well-known postulate:
“When you put the tie, take care of it, That’s the same colour with the flag.”
According to the principles of the new ideological religious leaders this tie has changed its colour, form and function and become a black hijab. It became the symbol of a new era in the history of women from Tajikistan. Girls of Generation “next” easily replaced its old sign to a new, being influenced by religious ideologists, who in the past were also pioneers, komsomolists and some of them even communists.Today we can see the transformation of the image, ideology and attitudes. And when she put her hijab, she became a symbol of the “new” troubled times and she is ready to put her ideology into action.”
Surayo TUYCHIEVA was born in 1984. Lives and works in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Graduated from Art College (2002) and Technological University, faculty of design (2007).
She finished postgraduate studies at the A. Donish Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography, defended her thesis on the topic “Evolution of gender relations in the Pamir Culture 1919-20s” and received her doctoral thesis in 2011. In 2004 she worked (as a volunteer) at McCarter Theater, Princeton New Jersey, USA.
During 10 years of working in the field of contemporary art, she is specialized in the following media: video art, performance, photo art and installation. She participated in a number of exhibitions and projects: “Parallel” Tajikistan 2006, Tashkent Biennial 2007, “City art” Dushanbe 2012, “Reimagining the new man. Practicing civic duties through social and visual media” project, organized by Dushanbe Art Ground center in 2014 and “Spaces on the Run” organized in DAG center in Dushanbe in 2014-15. Her works were exhibited in Moscow, St.Pitersburg, Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent and Dushanbe.

2000 | video | 18’|
Orzu Sharipov

Every summer, year after year rural women of Panjekent go to to the mountains to collect food for the winter. Without their men. Why is this place, despite its hardship, so sweet to them?
Orzu Sharipov was born on 29 October 1956 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, he graduated from the Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors in Moscow (studio of documentary films Gemma Firsova and Boris Zagryazhskii, 1993). “The Runaways” is his first movie that he directed. His films have been shown in Leipzig, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Munich, Prague, Moscow, Dushanbe, Kabul, etc. Participated in the Third International Eurasian Television Forum (Third International Eurasian TV Forum), he received Grand Prix in Moscow (2000).

2014 | video | 4’02 |
Alla Rumyantseva

The project is based on the well-known Tajik film “I met a girl” shot in 1957.
It is a story of a common girl who has a wonderful voice and dreams of performing at the local cultural center. However her father did not allowed her to perform and sends her away to the countryside.
The film is about society fighting the feudal custom of patriarchy hanging over from the past.
The film is about the time when the aspirations of the young for self-actualization were welcomed. We are observing the opposite situation today – the state does not care about those principles while society in view of islamisation is begun to hail patriarchic principles.
In my film I projected the story onto modern Tajikistan and tried to answer some important questions: Can a talented common girl realize her dream? Can she marry the man she loves?
Can she do that in a society that is moving backward, in a society in which religious views prevail and freedom of choice is no longer a value?

The following film and video selections made by Olga Stefan:
2012 | video | 7’ |
Alla Rumyantseva

On this day all people come out into the main streets and squares to mark the holiday. The people carry flags and banner with political slogans. While there are marches in the center of the city, the rest of the country continues to live their everyday life.
Alla Rumyantseva is a visual artist, born in 1977, lives and works in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Rumyantseva graduated from Technological University, Faculty of Design (1999). Since 2007 she works in the field of contemporary art, exploring the following media – video, animation, installation. She participate in a number of exhibition at; Videoart Festival «Pusto» Moscow (2007), exhibition «Stills», Kazakhstan (2010), «One Minute Film Festival», Germany (2010), 54nd Venice Biennale, Italy (2011), film festival «Reformat», Bishkek (2013), Purgatory IV Film Exhibition & Artist Bazaar (2013).
She attended a number of workshops and seminars: Seminar on video art «Art and environment», Tashkent (2010), workshop «Philosophical aspects of Contemporary art», Dushanbe (2010), art and science project «Glacier Music», Tashkent (2013). Her works were exhibited in Moscow, Bishkek, Venice, Tashkent and Dushanbe.

2007 | Video | 6’36 |color
Sabzali Sharif and Kholikov Jamshed

“Zarathustra woke up. What do you expect among sleeping people?” – The Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism.
“The principles and truths found in many world religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Islam and many others – intertwine. The Tajiks – one of the most ancient peoples of the world – in the beginning were re-worshipers, as in Zoroastrianism. As the story of this people goes, they were never violent, they never attacked but only defended themselves. They have been looted, destroyed, and forced to take other faiths but their culture, language, traditions and way of life have been preserved to this day.
Among many events that occur in the family every year, one consists in burning the thick layers of soot from the cauldron. This takes place during the celebration of Nowruz – the new year, when all cauldrons are cleaned of soot. This act signifies the purification of the soul, a release from evil thoughts and from the power of dark forces.
The sound of falling horseshoes reaches us from immemorial times and produces the sound of a clean cauldron. This sound suddenly woke us up – prodigal sons, it is the sound of time, and they say – it’s time to gather the stones that were once scattered.”
Sabzali Sharif, born in 1946 in the Khatlon region of Tajikistan, lives and works in Dushanbe.
Kholikov Jamshed – visual artist and curator, was born in 1962, lives and works in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
He graduated from MHAT school (Institute) named by Nemirovich-Danchenko (Moscow, Russia), production faculty, specialty “artist-engineer” (1986), previously studied in Republican Art College named by M. Olimova (Dushanbe, Tajikistan). From 1985 to 1993 worked as chief designer at the Tajik State Youth Theatre named by M. Vahidova. As a set-designer has designed over then 15 performances in various theatres of Tajikistan and worked for the production of two films at “Tajikfilm” studio. Since 2003 working in visual art and works with such media as photography and video. Participated in many exhibitions of contemporary art in Central Asia, Russia, Turkey, USA, France, Taiwan. Participated in the framework of the Central Asian Pavilion on the 52-nd and 53-ed Venice Biennale, Italy.Currently works as executive director of center “Dushanbe Art Ground” (PF “Sanat Muosir”), beside that curated a number of art projects in Tajikistan.

2015 | Film | 14’03
Khushunda Shukurova

A documentary film about Nadira Davlatova, a widow and a mother of eight children from a remote village in southern Tajikistan. Nadira was in her late thirties when her husband died from a heart attack. She owns two acres of land where she grows wheat to feed her family. The film follows her busy life during the harvest season. Nadira’s success during the harvest comes at an opportune time for her family. With the funds she makes from just half of her sales she can afford to marry off one of her sons. Official Selection INTERFERE Golden Nike 2015, Serbia, Official Selection Poverty Cure Film Festival 2013, New York, Broadcast BBC Persia
Khushunda Shukurova is a filmmaker born and raised in Tajikistan, currently based in New York, with a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts: Radio and Television from the School of Journalism at The University of Montana. Her work focuses on the complex life of women around the world.

Ştefan RUSU (born in 1964, Câietu, Moldova) is curator, editor, visual artist and filmmaker, his artistic/curatorial agenda is geared towards the social and political changes in post-socialist societies after 1989. In 2004 he completed MA in Cultural Policy and Management (Mediation in the Balkans) at Belgrade Art University and following the years 2005-06 attended Curatorial Training Program at Stichting De Appel in Amsterdam.
Beginning with 2000 he was involved in the development of KSAK – Center for Contemporary Art, Chisinau where he managed curatorial projects and art initiatives. After he moved to Tajikistan in 2013, he become involved in the activity of Dushanbe Art Ground, where beside designing and curating projects he was responsible for programs management, including fundraising and long-term sustainability of the organisation. His recent curatorial projects developed in Tajikistan include SPACES ON THE RUN. Mapping, activating, rethinking the status of public spaces in Central Asian context (2015) and Reimagining the New Man. Practicing civic duties through social and visual media (2014).

Videos courtesy of the artists and Dushanbe Art Ground, Tajikistan
Olga Stefan/Itinerant Projects carried out research in June 2015 with the support of a grant from Pro Helvetia.





discussion In Between