Our land: Tahmineh Monzavi, Babak Kazemi and Pargol E. Naloo share their work rooted in their home country. Moderated by Vali Mahlouji

Wednesday 10 May 2023
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Screening Room

At a moment when the country is experiencing a revolution, Iran’s artists and image-makers have an important and highly complex role to play. In this talk artists Babak Kazemi, Pargol E. Naloo and Tahmineh Monzavi discuss their work and how it is connected to their home country of Iran. The distinguished curator Vali Mahlouji will moderate the talk.

Ticket Price: £9.50




Tahmineh Monzavi is a socially conscious photographer, film director and producer. She began her professional career as a documentary photographer in 2005. In her professional life, with collection of photographs and her harmonious approach to her environment and her time, Tahmineh created her own style to capture and explore in the fields of Artistic and Documentary photography, with honesty and fearlessness. Notable series include Guilty or innocent, Brides of Mokhber al-Dowleh, Grape garden alley, All About Me : Nicknamed Crown Give and Red Soil, Cold Soil.

Tahmineh Monzavi received the Sheed Award for excellence in social documentary photography and her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), MAXXI museum of Roma, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and many others. Her works have also been published by number of reputable magazines.





Vali Mahlouji is an art curator, advisor to the British Museum, Art Dubai Modern, Bahman Mohassess Estate and director of Kaveh Golestan Estate.

He is the founder of Archaeology of the Final Decade (AOTFD), a non-profit research and cultural platform that recovers traumatised, violated, erased, dispossessed and obscured histories. His projects have been exposing Islamist genocidal cultural and social policies in Iran over the last decade and a half. He has placed artworks at major international institutions, including Tate Modern, the Smithsonian Institute, The British Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Paris Museum of Modern Art. 

Mahlouji has curated extensively, including “Unedited History: Iran 1960-2014” at Musée d’Art Moderne Paris and MAXXI Museum in 2014-5. His “Utopian Stage” exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery was nominated for Best Exhibition by the Global Fine Arts Awards in 2015. His recently curated extensive exhibition was on the history of Baalbek, Lebanon, at Sursock Museum in Beirut in 2019. His exhibit of Kaveh Golestan’s “Prostitute” series and the historical archive of “Recreating the Citadel” became the first room of an Iranian artist in the permanent collection of Tate Modern 2017-18.

Mahlouji’s upcoming titles “A Utopian Stage” and “Recreating the Citadel”, will be published by Whitechapel Gallery and Bloomsbury in 2023. Mahlouji trained at the University of London (SOAS) in Archaeology and Philology and at the Anna Freud Centre in Psychoanalytic Psychology and has been an active member of AIDS and LGBT advocacy and resistance in the U.K.



Babak Kazemi Babak Kazemi is a self-taught photographer born in Ahvaz, Iran in 1983. In 2012 he was awarded the Magic of Persia residency at the Delfina Foundation in London. Kazemi explores the history of the province of Khuzestan in which he grew up, focusing on the impact of oil production on the region. His work has been featured in collections at the Maraya Art Centre, The Museum of Contemporary Arts in Tehran, the Museum of War in Tehran and the private collection of Sheikh of Sharjah in UAE.

In 2015 Babak represented Iran, at the Iran Pavillion at the Venice Biennale with the project 8-year-old Persian Pickle. Babak deliberately uses multiple techniques for his artworks; physical techniques such as immersing photos in oil and scratching the bubbles and damages on the surface of photographs and technical varieties such as practising collage and photomontage techniques, documentary and staged photography methods. The visual aspects of his artworks change almost entirely depending on his intentions. This variety can also be clearly seen in the theme and the subjects he chose to present: Social issues, personalized versions of old Persian stories,imaginative creations and various subjects that all influenced him and shows us what he experienced and focused on during his artistic career. Although Babak is deeply tied and focused on cultural issues, the truth in his artworks takes on a more philosophical meaning, featuring a display of both the past and the future along with the personal adventures of his own life.



Pargol E. Naloo has been a painter since her youth and started photography during high school when she got her first mechanical camera, a Minolta X700. In 2003 she received a Diploma of Art/ Graphic Design from the Conservatory ‘honar oandishe’ in Shiraz, Iran. During 2011-2012 she studied painting in Accademia di Belle Arti of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. She learned how to take photos and develop them herself in the darkroom. With the rise of digital cameras, her practice became more photography based. In her recent work, Pargol E. Naloo combines her skills in both photography and painting, focusing on hand prints in her studio work.

Her work has been featured in a number of international exhibitions, including Teer Art Fair, Silk road Gallery (2019).; Small image, big mirror, group exhibition, AG Galerie, Tehran, Iran (2019); Ellipsis: between word and image, Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, India (2018); Bride of Middle East, collaborative project with Babak Kazemi, group exhibition with artists in residence at B.A.R. in Beirut Art Residency Studio, Beirut, Lebanon; Unclear deal, (collaborative work with Babak Kazemi) group exhibition, the Mine Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2017); For Photography, group exhibition at Silk Road art gallery, Tehran, Iran (2015); Habitat, group exhibition, Max Muller Bhaven with the collaboration of Geothe Institute, New Delhi, India (2014).