by: Nazira Karimi

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Nazira Karimi, Izdeu, 2022, 12’22’’.

Izdeu is a Kazakh word for ‘search.’ The film is an exploration of convoluted trajectories of seven generations of the protagonists’ foremothers, starting from the oldest, “seventh grandmother,” a nomadic woman from the banks of Syr Darya river. Flipping through several key pages of the colonial and post-colonial history of the region, it touches on the themes of oppression, trauma and resilience of indigenous peoples of Syr Darya in the face of historical cataclysms. As the camera follows the preparations for a traditional family reunion dinner, the narrative focuses on the complex interplay between personal and collective history.

Nazira Karimi (*1996, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan) is an artist and filmmaker whose work explores themes of memory, identity, and the environment, with a particular focus on the ongoing impacts of colonization in Central Asia. Karimi’s artistic practice spans multiple mediums, including film, photography, and installation art.

Karimi is part of the DAVRA collective and a founding member of the artist collective MATA. Currently based in Vienna, Austria, she is studying at the Academy of Fine Arts for her Magistra’s degree in Arts and Cultural Studies. Prior to that, Karimi studied Stage Design and Painting at the Almaty College of Applied Arts in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In addition to her studies and artistic pursuits, she has also been involved in various activism and community-building projects. Her involvement in all-female artist collectives reflects her commitment to creating spaces for underrepresented voices and perspectives in the art world.

Her work was featured in noble venues and exhibitions such as documenta fifteen, EMAF, Pragovka Gallery, Aspan Gallery, ARTBAT FEST, FemAgora and more.