Gå direkt till innehåll Gå direkt till menyn

Elham Rokni

Studio grant holder in Stockholm 2 May – 26 July 2019

Elham Rokni (ISR), b. 1980 in Tehran, lives and works in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel.

I mostly work with video and drawing and lately I am attempting to combine them. In my recent practice, I find myself preoccupied with connecting my personal experience as an immigrant to urgent political and ethical issues. I regard the migration of asylum seekers and refugees to Israel as a continuation of other waves of immigration to this country. More specifically, I’m interested in the actions and notions of accessibility and free movement in relation to the dialectical development of the globalised world, namely, on the one hand, in the free movement of goods, services, and a limited number of people, and on the other hand, in fortified nations and communities, surrounded by separation walls and other barriers and the subjects of racism and fear.

Photo: Elham Rokni

Between 2015 and 2017 I collected folktales from Sudanese and Eritrean refugees, currently the two largest asylum-seeking communities in Israel. These stories have a double presence: On one hand, they are manifestations of cultural expansion within Israeli society and therefore have been registered by me to be part of the Israel Folktale Archives (IFA). On the other hand, the stories have become the main component of my artistic research, manifested in a book entitled “The Iblis, the Girl, the Sultan and the Lion’s Tail”.

I wish to develop this project into a website which will be a collecting and broadcasting platform of folktales gathered from different refugee communities worldwide. One of my aims during the Iaspis residency is to arrange a conference about the importance of collecting and preserving folktales and oral history, their social role and artistic possibilities and find collaborations to create collecting hubs in Sweden.

Born in Iran in 1980 just after the Islamic Revolution, Elham Rokni grew up in Tehran and immigrated to Israel at the age of nine. Today she lives and works in Tel-Aviv. She is a graduate of Bezalel Academy’s BFA (2007) and MFA (2010) programmes and is a professor at the Bezalel Academy art department since 2013.