Photo credit: Lizandro Segura

What motivates my artistic practice is my life investment in social justice. I interrogate oppressive systems to give voice to marginalized narratives and personal stories, and to propagate poetic expressions of local and global perspectives. My approach to artmaking is deeply informed by my passion for social justice and my personal experience as a woman and a member of persecuted Baha’i minority in Iran, as an immigrant in Boston, and as an educator. I consider my art a voice for the margins communicated through the poetry of visuals.”

”My practice builds upon what I call “Art as Ecosystem,” a network of collaborations with multiplicity of narratives that investigate social systems and occupy public sites as a critical discourse.”

”My process of artmaking provides an avenue for studying social, cultural, and political issues and engagements. Installations provide the third space to bring a variety of mediums together with audiences in order to create a place for contemplation; a place for re/defining our definitions of self and others. The artwork itself is complete only within the dialogue and conversations created as a result of audience interaction and participation.”

”I am interested in the fluctuating space of cross-cultural encounter; as a result, I create collaborative projects, physically bringing artists from different backgrounds together to co-create works that reflect our shared concerns as they transform and fuse together in the creative process.
— Rashin Fahandej


Rashin Fahandej is an Iranian-American artist and independent filmmaker. Her work centers on personal histories, marginalized voices, and the role of media, technology and public collaboration in generating social change.  Her work, solo and collaborative, has been exhibited locally and internationally at numerous venues. Her projects engage a variety of social, political and cultural issues through conceptual, psychological as well as aesthetic explorations. 

 A Father’s Lullaby, her research/creation project at MIT Open Documentary Lab, considers the absence of fathers in communities of color as a direct result of mass incarceration, its life-long impact on children who are left behind and its weight on women and lower-income families, explored through the space of love and intimacy. The project is being developed with community members as creative collaborators, and many local institutions including Boston Center for the Arts, Federal Probation Office, Office of Returning Citizens, and Community Music Center of Boston. 

In 2016-17 as Boston Artists-In-Residence with Mayor’s office of art and culture Fahandej created IN-SIGHT Boston, a community collaborative project exploring youth violence, access, and equality.  

Fahandej’s ongoing project, Marginalia, is a series of poetic feature documentaries exploring the life of U.S. immigrants from persecuted minorities of Iran. Her films draw millions of Persian speaking viewers, igniting conversations around tabooed subjects such as Baha’i minorities.  She has served as an artistic director for the award-winning project, Rebuilding the Gwozdziec Synagogue in Poland.  

Fahandej's recent exhibits include a public sound installation at Boston Center for the Art’s public plaza, 2018 and a participatory public media installation inside a shipping container at Boston City Hall Square, HUBweek 2018.    

Fahandej is the 2019 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellow,  Artist in Residence at ThoughtWork Arts and James and Audrey Foster Prize recipient with an upcoming exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Boston August 2019 - Jan 2020.