Art Lift - Feb 08 2021

Hami Bahadori

HHe speaks as a refugee artist,
He opposes immigration discrimination under Eurocentrism,
He's Hami Bahadori, who lives in Seattle, artist and curator,

He founded “inside an airport”, a platform for migrants and refugees to speak out about the injustices they are facing.

01. About justice

During the epidemic, people were forced to live in quarantine. "Inside AN Airport" launched the“GREATEST QUARANTINE ART EXPO”, allowing interested artists to take advantage of the opportunity to share their "quarantine creations" in the limited home space. Hami Bahadori is one of the curators of the fair. In the face of the virus that is sweeping the world, the privileged are no exception. Hami sees new hope for interracial justice.

Born in Iran at a working class family, Hami had a happy and focused childhood. His father was an amateur painter, whose dedication and passion ignited Hami's pursuit of art. This led Hami to follow the path into the Supreme Hall with pure passion, and to carry the backpack of justice and morality. Hami remembers asking his father for advice on shadows in his paintings, but years later, he didn't hesitate to reach out to artists in the shadows.

As a teenager, Hami Migrated with his family to the West due to economic instabilities. After graduation from art school, he continued studying art in different European countries such as Italy and Finland.with his family to many countries, finding his world expanded dramatically. I have witnessed real "international citizens" and heard many stories about "forced immigration". Whether because of the unforeseen deterioration of the climate, or because of the inevitable war, they have to leave their homes. There is no way back for them.

Eurocentrism's exclusion and discrimination against ordinary immigrants has put them in an unescapable bind.

02. Night and morning at the border of the group

"Maybe one week is not enough to get us beyond capitalism, but it is certain that even hell has been rid of capitalism."

Hami Bahadori found his passion in photography. He studied at the University of Washington and the Helsinki University of the Arts in Finland, and set up his own Photography and Media Studiostudio In Seattle.

The theme of migration and Western colonialism is a constant source of material for Hami, whose art tells poignant stories of migration and attack the rigidity of orientalism. Photography and moving images are his artistic medium of choice where he conveys his thoughts on privilege and race.

Hami Bahadori and [His partner] Jo Kjaergaard, another prominent Helsinki-based artist, collaborated on "T̶H̶I̶S̶ ̶W̶O̶R̶K̶S̶ ̶D̶I̶F̶F̶E̶R̶E̶N̶T̶L̶Y̶" a deep reflection and expression on migration, politics and privilege. One project, “Wreck”, tells the history of maritime shipbuilding and migration; This harrowing expression of a shared history is the highest respect for the truth depicting the suffering of forced migration.

Today, these vulnerable immigrant groups on the continent are still discriminated against. To this end, Hami decided to provide opportunities for fringe artists, and he is full of anticipation and vision for the future. Even the smallest voices, collected together, can also be gathered into a firm source of power. To believe that the boundaries of the community will at last see the light, the cold of the morning will be worth enduring.

03. “inside an airport”

Asked why it was named "Inside an airport" and why the location was fixed on the airport itself, Hami said: "Airports, for marginalized migrant communities, are a bittersweet place, a dividing line in the lives of this community. At an airport, saying goodbye to the past, with a sense of uncertainty about the future, is an unspeakable moment. What most people don't know is that immigration violence and deportations are a regular occurrence at airports.

Hami's photography studio went through a rough patch when he was pouring a lot of energy into it, but little to show for the efforts. He was frustrated.Detachment from the day-to-day, he says, brings him back to reality when his work is put on hold.

Career rest can become a major turning point in life. That year, Hami became obsessed with blogging and making book-reviews on "inside an airport." He shares his own questions and reflections on immigration, centralism, race and the politics of privilege. Later, "Inside AN Airport" developed into a reading group. A group of people gathered at Helsinki Airport to explore and communicate freely, covering topics such as art, politics, social change, immigration, etc. As the organizer, he established the topic, curated the exhibition to convey the voice of the immigrant community, and provided assistance to immigrant artists.

There is a long way to go against privilege, and Hami is not backing down. In the future, when centralism disintegrates, it will be the moment when immigrants get equal human rights.

 Hami's Website: