Homa Sarabi

MFA ’17 Film/Video

In this two-channel video performance recorded simultaneously In Boston and Tehran, each performer occupies a specific location formerly known as a “Red Light” neighborhood. Performing in the left channel, I follow the lead of Mahya, my collaborator in Iran on the right, dancing the choreography we designed together. Restrained by the Islamic Republic’s law, she is prevented from joining me.

In the aftermath of the 1979 revolution in Iran, women became targets of all forms of savagery. Women in the margins are the first in line to suffer these brutalities. In a deadly attack on Tehran’s neighborhood of brothels, the extremists robbed the sex workers, hauled them through the city and burned them alive in front of rows of people. For the past 43 years, women’s bodies have been banned from dancing and moving in public. This performance video is a memorial to the women of “Shahr-e No.”

Homa Sarabi is an artist based in Boston. She works predominantly with moving images and photography. Sarabi’s practice is centered around her experience of immigration and physical dislocation. Through personal storytelling and non-narrative filmmaking, she expands the performance of the camera and the filmmaker. Sarabi earned an MFA in Film/Video from MassArt and a Bachelor’s in Photography from the University of Tehran. She was an LEF Foundation fellow at the 2021 Flaherty seminar, and a 2020 Massart Alumni Artist in Residence at the Srishti-Manipal Institute of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore, India.