Winter 2014 Resident: Raheleh Saneie "Rah"

Winter 2014 Resident: Raheleh Saneie is an Iranian-Canadian photo, video and performance artist. Rah was born in Iran in 1985 during the Iran-Iraqi war and immigrated to Canada at the age of five. Rah graduated from the University of Ottawa, where she completed a B.F.A. with a minor in Women Studies in 2013. Rah won the SAW Video award in 2012 for her video “Oriental Drag.” She also won the Ottawa Art Gallery Graduating Student Award of Excellence in 2013 for her videos “Self Portrait” and “ Oriental Tutorial.” Recently, Rah has been invited and commissioned by the Williams College Museum of Art to create a performance in response to Diana Abu-Jaber’s book, Crescent. Further, Rah was the only Iranian-Canadian artist in SAW Galleries Ciphers: Tension with Tradition in Contemporary Iranian Photography which was curated by PhD, Andrea D. Fitzpatrick and was a first-of-its-kind exhibition of Iran’s most critically acclaimed lens-based artists. Rah currently lives in Montreal and her work has been published and exhibited internationally in USA, Iran, China, Berlin, London, and England.

About the project: Raheleh (Rah) Saneie will focus on producing a video piece that will stimulate a dialogue about contemporary political issues surrounding the veil. This garment worn by women to show religious affiliation in Islamic countries is a contentious cultural and political issue and has been the subject of political repressions and cultural appropriation. In previous video and performance works, Rah has created a fictional character that uses a comedic approach to address these issues in an inclusive and accessible way. She wishes to further develop this character. In addition to the video production, she will maintain a blog throughout the residency, featuring photographs, short videos, and writings about her characters’ experiences as an Iranian-Canadian woman in Parisian society.


Press release and Winter 2014 Residency Shortlist