Maryam Omrani (b. 1977, Tehran, Iran) is a writer and independent curator from Tehran, living and working in Stockholm.
Maryam Omrani was invited as a curator-in-residence during the spring of 2017 when she presented the exhibition project I always pretend I don’t care in Residence Botkyrka’s apartment. The programme was part of a residence serie, organised by Abir Boukhari (AllArtNow).
Maryam Omrani’s exhibition project
I always pretend I don’t care
including works by Behzad Khosravi Noori, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyen and Ulrika Flink
6 May 2017 – Residence Botkyrka, Krögarvägen 26
The project is initiated from the point of view of a migrant who tries to explore the life in the new society. It also comes from the differences that she or he may experience between the imagined Europe and the real Europe. Some of the migrants had experienced European cultures through cinema and literature. For them Europe was imagined in terms of modern life and new ideas and also as a guardian of the Human Rights, progress, and justice. In the process of integration in the host society, a migrant is forced to redefine herself or himself, and this is the moment that one feels the power of the “gaze”, the power of judgmental and discriminatory look.
The departure point of this project is a short extract from Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, a movie by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1973), the sequence mediated between the curator, invited artists and the anthropologist to put in to words their relation in to this sequence. After forty years Fassbinder’s film is still of high relevance when it comes to the issues of migration, labor, gender, and racialization in the current Europe. After the World War II many Western European countries launched guest-worker programs. Hundred thousands of men and women were invited to these countries including Sweden, to work in industries. In the early 1980s when the mode of production was changed and relocated to other countries and continents, the demand for the labor force diminished. Migration, however, has not diminished but its form changed. Nevertheless, the migrant as the Other remained unchanged as a stigmatized figure.
Maryam Omrani (2017)