Faraz Anoushahpour

Faraz Anoushahpour


Faraz Anoushahpour is an artist, filmmaker, and programmer originally from Tehran and currently based in Toronto. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Architectural Association (London, UK), and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from OCAD University (Toronto). He was part of the programming team at Images Festival (2014-2018), and a current member of the Reassemblage Collective in Toronto. Shifting between both gallery and cinema contexts, his recent collaborative projects have been presented at the Flaherty Seminar, Berlinale, Punto De Vista International Documentary Festival, Viennale, Media City Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and others internationally.

Saw Bells, 2022

Saw Bells, 2022

Mani Mazinani, Iran/Canada 11 min

Circular saw blades are played and heard through two microphones, a stationary figure-of-8 pattern microphone (just below the video frame) and a mobile cardioid-pattern microphone suspended above the blades. This system is played as an instrument, one hand striking the saw bells with a mallet and the other manipulating the position of the suspended microphone. As the microphone moves, so do our ears,revealing the available variation in the aural space. Within Saw Bells, motionis tied to our sight and hearing.The improvised playing/recording foregrounds our experience of our perception.

Mani Mazinani (b.1984, Tehran) is a Tkaronto-based artist making installation, video, film, sculpture, photographs, multiples, sound and music. His practice evolved from an early interest in sound recording, now working with the process of translating thoughts into recordings. His visual work thinks about scale and perception, often combining subject matter and medium. Mazinani is currently researching origins of ancient thought, perceptual limitations of humans, and improvisation. Recent exhibitions/performances include Tate Modern (2019), The Bentway, Toronto (2018),Tehran International Electronic Music Festival (2017), SIP Culture Centre, Suzhou (2016), Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (2015), CAB Art Centre, Brussels (2013).

Image Description: Silhouette of two circular saw blades, one on each side.. A floating arm plays the saw blades  with a percussion beater, silhouetted against a blue sky.

Gelombang Longitudinal, 2016

Gelombang Longitudinal, 2016

Ali Satri Efendi, Indonesia 5 min

The journey into the parallel medium where the compression and rarefaction coincide witheach other. The traveling wave directs the journey to find balance within constructive interference. 

Ali Satri Efendi is an educator who loves films, books, music & running. He writes short stories, poems and various articles. He often makes films alone with simple technique and tools. His works have been screened at ARKIPEL: Jakarta International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival, Minikino Bali, Images Forum, Festival Film Dokumenter.

Image Description: A person with short hair sits cross legged on a colourful, gridded carpet, their back facing us. 

Child-Lock, 2020

Child-Lock, 2020

Abeer Khan, India 2 min

Produced in Covid-19 lockdown, the video surfs the freedom of mind, as the video’s taglinegoes, ‘The mind wanders only if you let it.’Child-lock is the safety lock usually found on appliances. Here,Child-Lock takes the literal meaning and interlaces it with surrealism. Not particularly for the body but for the mind, it is an expression which can travel from the past into the future, just like our childhood days spent in humid afternoons creating various scenarios and projecting them on walls.

Abeer Khan is a Mumbai-based filmmaker and photographer with a passion for storytelling that transcends traditional mediums. With years of experience in photography and a deep fascination with cinema, Abeer has perfected the art of blending these two passions to create compelling visual narratives that challenge the boundaries of the human experience.

Image Description: A view from the interior looking out a window, framed by dark red curtains on either side. Outside a field of bright yellow flowers leads to an otherworldly plume of rising smoke and flame

Chadariya, 2022

Chadariya, 2022

Nimisha Srivastava, India 25 min

Chadariya is an emotional sense-scape of abortion. It unearths pain and violence lived by young unmarried Indian women. Somewhere in the middle of the narrative lies a mother sharing her own lonely experiences with pregnancy, who eventually sings her heart out about the fabric that life is itself. The film comes out of the need to be heard. It includes multiple narratives and is rooted in research about the cultural and societal hold over women’s bodies and its representation as well. The film situates the viewer inside the deeply personal yet shared world of an unsafe abortion, taking the aid of music, songs, and beauty to communicate this experience.

Nimisha Srivastava’s films and art reflects intersectional feminist themes and human rights issues. She has been involved with various projects that deal with the personal and political in evocative and Avant-Garde ways. Her poetry makes up for a large personal archive and she has been a choreographer and performer of both poetry and dance, often together.

Image Description: Arched fingers lightly dig into the soft, fleshy, textured skin of an unidentifiable part of a body.

from where to where من وين لوين d'où vers où, 2022

from where to where من وين لوين d'où vers où, 2022

Nada El-Omari, Canada/Palestine/Egypt 8 min

In the pieces I store and carry along my many different roads, my dialects may be signs of bruises but reclaimed they form the skin and voice I live in. Experiences of the where, from where, to where; a narrative amongst others. And as the words finally trickle through the needles, fingers seeping with tints trace the outline of whirling fields where I hang a jasmine branch on suspended necks and in the in-betweens, language soothes, swans mend, and the daily brings calm. We are the comfort of our multiples.

Nada El-Omari is a filmmaker and writer of Palestinian and Egyptian origin based in Montreal, Quebec. She has centered her practice and research interests on the intergenerational transmissions of memories, displacement and the stories of belonging and identity through a poetic, hybrid lens.

Image Description: Four blue and white ceramic tea cups rest on one corner of a dark wood surface. Hazy beams of sunlight stream over the arrangement, lending a soft, ethereal look. . Overlaid pink text reads: from where to where من وين لوين d’où vers où

Rice Hunger Sorrow, 2021

Rice Hunger Sorrow, 2021

Paribartana Mohanty, India 20 min

Since the 1999 Super Cyclone, the state of Odisha is facing a surge of recurring cyclones, tsunamis, rising ocean levels and land erosion, rapidly changing its geopolitics, demographics, and culture. The video Rice Hunger Sorrow is a brief account of my visit, encounters and intervention—performance in specific post environment disaster sites which are evolving near the coast of Bay of Bengal. The work speculates on new technological mediations and approaches initiated by new public policies that are shaping public perception and opinions about climate change today.

Paribartana Mohanty is a visual artist and storyteller based in Delhi. His work explores new environment-disaster-landscapes emerging near the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Odisha, that study the deep impacts of recurring cyclones, tsunamis, and land erosion on marginal communities, nature, and culture.

Image Description: Two people in silver hazmat suits are standing on a sandy shoreline by a muddy ocean. The sun beats down in a massive, hazy orbs at their back. White subtitles read: Situated near Dwarika and spread across Saraswati, Prabhasa is a source of many legends.


Clearings in the Fog

2023 72 MIN

MONITOR 15: Clearings in the Fog
Curated by Faraz Anoushahpour

Featuring short films by Mani Mazinani, Ali Satri Efendi, Abeer Khan, Nimisha Srivastava, Nada El-Omari, and Paribartana Mohanty

SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) is thrilled to present the 15th edition of its experimental film and video program, MONITOR. Since 2005, MONITOR has initiated dialogue around the shifting nature of politics, economies, and landscapes across the Global South and its diasporas.

In Clearings in the Fog, artists turn to their landscapes and bodies for resonance, reverberation, and echo. Through various forms and narrative structures, each film creates modulating relations that animate insides and outsides, subjects and objects, forms of sensing and sounding with worlds folding and unfolding. Sound and listening become central, guiding forces through the shifting temporalities of each piece as well as the program as a whole. In searching for clearings, we arrive at gestures that bring attention to acts of hearing, tensions between the audible and inaudible, and what slips in and out of visual inscription and forms of witnessing.

Accessibility: Films will include closed captioning. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema is wheelchair accessible with an accessible washroom and space for mobility devices inside the theatre. There is a paid concessions stand and bar onsite. The balcony can only be accessed by stairs. Masks are strongly encouraged inside the theatre and will be provided at the door. There is space  for social distancing within the theater. The after party will be on the second floor of Paupers Pub, accessed via stairs. Free finger foods will be served. Masks will be optional at the reception.

Read MONITOR 15: Clearings in the Fog digital brochure here

Clearings in the Fog 
by Faraz Anoushahpour 

“If we see meaning […] as a skin on the sound of language, what happens if we peel it off?” 1

In Clearings in the Fog, artists turn to their landscapes and bodies for resonance, reverberation, and echo—senses, in brief, of presence and distance, at scales ranging from individual to collective. The centrality of sound and listening is a guiding force through the shifting temporalities of each isolated piece as well as the program as a whole. In searching for clearings, we arrive at gestures that bring attention to the act of hearing, tensions between the audible and inaudible, and to what slips in and out of cycles of visual inscription and forms of witnessing. Through various forms and narrative structures, each film in the program creates undulating relations that animate insides and outsides, subjects and objects, forms of sensing and sounding with worlds folding and unfolding.

Mani Mazinani’s Saw Bells opens the program with a meditative improvisation of time, sound, and motion. The frame consists of circular saw blades, a vast sky, and a small, suspended microphone swaying in and out of the frame. Every so often a mallet enters the frame to strike the saw blades. As mallet and microphone move in and out of frame, the sensorial experience of sight and sound shift. An eerie summoning of sorts occurs as the modulating fields of sound are set against the drifting clouds.

The changing contours of air and vibration lead to the mysteriously quiet place of Ali Satri Efendi’s Gelombang Longitudinal. Guided by the soundings of a distant instrument and shifting landscapes in the fog, waves of dreams and solitude drift away in time and slowly form an illusory land in this circular visual poem.

Wandering in the humidity of domestic space, Abeer Khan’s Child-lock projects onto the walls and surfaces of a room during lockdown. Collapsing the domestic space with visions of elsewhere, the body reconciles its confinement through unfolding impressions of the outside and fantasies of the unreachable.

Moving between the realms of the individual and the collective, Nimisha Srivastava’s Chadariya unearths the pain and violence lived by young Indian unmarried women through the construction of a personal landscape of abortion. Intergenerational narratives are spoken through multiple voices in an attempt to create an interwoven “sense-scape.” The body becomes the site where pasts meet futures, congealing together in a visceral interplay between individual experience and a collective inheritance. While the haptic camerawork creates a sense of closeness, the interjecting written frames confront and trouble the ease of sharing and the real violence inflicted every day on women’s bodies. At one point in the film, a mother shares her lonely experience with pregnancy, and sings about a fabric, gesturing to life itself. 

The tension between what is audible and what cannot be heard is further explored in Nada El-Omari’s piece. Exploring her dislocated voice and the inconsistencies of language, she writes, “In the pieces I store and carry along my many different roads, my dialects may be signs of bruises but reclaimed they form the skin and voice I live in.” from where to where من وين لوين‭ ‬ d’où vers où is compiled from a series of conversations and musings that attempt to work in tandem with multiple languages, places, and temporalities. By refusing easy alignment between the visual and sonic, El-Omari points to what slips in translation, instead forming an in-between identity that finds reprieve in the banality of daily life.

In Rice Hunger Sorrow, Paribartana Mohanty visits Odisha, India, where the effects of the natural world and climate change occur in tandem with rapid change in the ways that humans live. Recurring cyclones, tsunamis, rising ocean levels and land erosion are mirrored by swiftly changing geopolitics, demographics, and culture. The video is an account of the artist’s encounters and resulting performative gestures responding to the evolving post-disaster landscapes. The work gathers and reconstructs sociopolitical, mythological, and artistic forms of narrative into a quasi-musical on the effects of environmental disaster as mediated through new technologies and refracted by the collaborative practices of the local people of Odisha.

Clearings in the Fog gestures at an experience of the opacity between the senses, flowing between seeing and hearing. The lush landscapes and confined interiors evoke smell and a visceral imagination of temperature. This program unravels the interactions and intersections between sensory experience and meaning making to build cognitive pathways towards wisdom. 

1Umashankar Manthravadi, An Archaeology of Listening – A Slightly Curving Place, ed. Nida Ghouse and Jenifer Evans (Berlin: Archive Books, 2022).


Upcoming Tour Dates and Locations 

 14 July 2023 
6282 Rue St-Hubert
Montréal, QC

21 July 2023
Harkat Studios
Bungalow #17, Aram Nagar 2
JP Road, Versova, Andheri West
Mumbai, India

18 November 2023 
Surrey Art Gallery 
13750 88 Avenue
Surrey, BC 

Past Screenings 

24 June 2023 
Khyber and Centre for Art Tapes
1880 Hollis St
Halifax, NS  

23 June 2023 
Struts Gallery 
7 Lorne St
Sackville, NB

14 June 2023 
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
506 Bloor St W
Toronto, ON 


Image: Paribartana Mohanty, Rice Hunger Sorrow, 2021

SAVAC acknowledges the support of its funders and all MONITOR 15 presenting partners.


MONITOR is dedicated to the presentation of experimental short films and videos that initiate dialogue around the shifting nature of politics, economies and landscapes across the Global South and its diasporas

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