The exhibition rasied over $4,000 for Planned Parenthood.
Notions of home and belonging is also explored by Wang Söderström, both in the talk they gave at the Tangle and in the in-depth interview.
Portrait of Charlie borrowed from FISKs website.
Go check it out.
Bijan on Instagram, October 5th 2022:
As I write this, I cry, looking over images of my parents life before coming to America. My mother with her hair free not wearing a hijab or chador, my dad smiling with friends. In 1979, like many, they fled an extremist religious and political uprising that has now been occupying their home country for more than 40 years. This has forever shaped my life as I know it.
If 1979 never happened, I may still be in Iran today to witness the brutal murder of #mahsaamini and many others. At all odds, I see people who look like me fighting in the streets of Iran. Led by women, LGBTQ and children who have been the most oppressed and have the most at stake. Enough is enough, they want to take their country back at all costs. To create a future where they don’t have to flee their home like my parents.
Friends, what can you do? ENGAGE. Read. Learn. Share. Discuss. Spread awareness. Major media outlets are not giving what’s happening in Iran the attention it so desperately needs, and they should be ashamed. It’s not in their interests, it’s not trendy or in line with their vilification of Islam and Iran. It’s up to us to continue giving the people on the streets the attention they need. Why? Because an opportunity like this in Iran is extremely rare, people are fighting and dying in Iran and we need to create the momentum to see this through and make action now before it’s too late.
The time is now to free Iran.
Merci and love,
Some accounts to follow that are covering day-to-day in Iran right now: @iranrights @1500tasvir @from____iran @masih.alinejad @samanism @hushi5 @discotehran.nyc
Chapter 3: Community
April 15th 2023
Community is something very important to Bijan Behrami, founder of FISK projects. At the Tangle in Copenhagen, he introduces us to the close knit, oval world of FISK and in a process of tracing its origin story across different scales of his community, we witness how Bijan has grown up alongside his practice. Beginning with what he calls his ‘first community’ – his family– he examines the memories of learning to be “a 9-5 American” when growing up in an Iranian household in Canyon County California. Although he certainly could not have comprehended this at the time; being surrounded by the artefacts of his parent’s past, and the material and popular culture of Iran went on to imbue and influence the graphic approach he takes today.
Grappling with notions of heritage and legacy whilst attending CalArts (a university whose alumni include the founders of Pixar) Bijan reflects on how design “gave him a place”, and how the graphic design studio felt like a home– a familiar feeling to many students who discover their creative communities at college. From within this incubator, FISK begins to hatch from its oval egg- first taking inspiration from the event poster aesthetics of CalArts classmates and hosting release parties to generate interest in projects. ‘Hosting’ becomes somewhat of a theme across FISK’s timeline: as a gallery space in Portland, artists are encouraged to create their work on site (as a more economical alternative to shipping large works), and often these artists stay at Bijan’s personal home (along with his dog, Charlie) during their residencies. FISK’s gallery becomes a host to community events (like this fundraiser for Planned Parenthood) demonstrating that space itself can bring about connection. Holding space, and paying close attention to his immediate locality is central to Bijan’s accumulative practice, and he notes how in the age of the internet proximity is often overlooked- reminding us to keep our eyes open to the things and people around us that we like.
In recent years and after acknowledging the exhausting nature of running a community space (both physically and financially) Bijan has developed new projects in print with Joon Magazine, and has engaged in activism with an all-iranian team to fight for justice in Iran through design. The consistent reflexivity and adaptive nature of his work exemplifies an attitude of finding joy in change, sustaining both employment and enjoyment. “Design reaches into communities and therefore creates its own” Through his talk at the Tangle, not only is it clear how important community is for Bijan, but also how important he is for his communities.
Bijan’s Questions for You:
What does the word “community” mean to your practice today?
What do artifacts of your heritage or family look like?
How does your family inform your community today?
How does your education inform your community today?
How does the idea of a “party” inform your practice?
What do you do with an opportunity?
What is happening next door to you?
What space is important to you?
If you’re gonna make clothes, what is it for?
What’s your interpretation of your parents culture?
How do you share your community’s legacy?
Community means a lot to me, what does it mean to you?Back to grid