Azar Saiyarfeat Negin Bahadori and Kaino Wennerstrand: THE LISTENERS

Azar Saiyarfeat Negin Bahadori and Kaino Wennerstrand: THE LISTENERS




12:00 – 18:00


clear sky

feat. Negin Bahadori and Kaino Wennerstrand


Tue-Sun 12–18

opening Thu 10.11. 18–20

“Let all the mouths, dreams, and views flourish.”

From a message of a speaker that remains unknown.

The basis for The Listeners exhibition are the sounds recorded on audio tapes from the Iranian radio during the 1979 revolution. It was actually the year 1357 in Iran. The tapes were recorded by my Iranian father in Kaivoksela, Vantaa, Finland. They are at the same time private recordings and documentation of a historical event, evidence of absence and the passing of time. 

In what different ways can you listen to and read words, sounds, sentences, what kind of meanings can be given to them? How do the words and meanings, the histories carried by the words, translate from a language to another, and keep up with time? 

We translated the content of the tapes from Farsi to Finnish with Negin Bahadori. In addition, there are three poems displayed in the exhibition by Negin Bahadori. 

The works in the exhibition have been made together with the sound designer Kaino Wennerstrand and cinematographer Joonas Kiviharju. The exhibition in Oksasenkatu 11 gallery has been curated by Ida Palojärvi.

The practice that led to this exhibition, and the production of the works have been supported by the Kone Foundation, Oskar Öflunds Stiftelse, Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Uusimaa Regional Fund and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.


I did not aim to be current. I dug up the tapes a few years back and have spent time with them, working also towards this exhibition. I have been listening to them. I have picked up words that I recognise, songs that I remember, I have organised what I have listened to in different ways. I have been thinking that the recordings give an opportunity to move back in time and place, and they work as an instrument to reach out to the diversity of history, and to compare this diversity to the single tale that is being told. 

Now this Autumn in 2022, I scroll through video clips from Iran. A young woman is running towards a burning fire and throws her head scarf into fire. There is hope, there are demands, there are acts of violence committed by the state towards its people. It is said to be a women’s revolution in the making. I scroll on the video clips, and it affects how I listen to the tapes recorded in 1979. I am far away from the events, like my father I am witnessing them from a distance. I can state that; I see, I support you but I ask for nothing. But what I see is fierce. Without guns or armed uprising, people, youth, women, girls, children refuse to obey. Without a leader, a leadership, they demand for their rights.  

Fri 11 Nov 2022 – 27 Nov 2022 12:00 – 18:00


clear sky

Oksasenkatu 11,