Golboo Amani: My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile


My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile

A sound, video and interactive work by Golboo Amani
Launches November 23 on Koffler.Digital

The Koffler Centre of the Arts presents My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile, a sound, video and interactive work highlighting the loss and longing for ancestral cultural literacy, created by Golboo Amani in collaboration with Maryam Hafizirad and Mohammad Rezaei. Through personal interviews and poetic recitations this digital exhibition unpacks the fear of cultural erasure and the longing for ancestral kinship experienced by immigrants and diaspora.

A visual and auditory recitation of “Pariya” by Ahmad Shamlu, the poem Amani was assigned to learn as a child, My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile responds to the Iranian tradition of poetry as a teaching tool for cultivating cultural literacy and language skills. In collaboration with visual artists Hafizirad and Rezaei, the work addresses the linguistic mechanisms of inclusion and otherness, while also unpacking the poem’s meaning through various forms of translation and interpretation.

My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile is produced and presented by Koffler.Digital, a program of the Koffler Centre of the Arts, that provides a virtual space where artists create, experiment and develop new work for the digital realm.

My mother tongue is burdened by the accent of exile
Launches: November 23, 2020

The exhibition is curated by Letticia Cosbert Miller, Director of Koffler.Digital, with web and graphic design by Natasha Whyte-Gray, Designer for Koffler.Digital. The artist would like to acknowledge Ahmad Amani, Mahshid Amani, Tala Jalili, Danielle Leddy, and David Blackmore for their participation and production support.


Golboo Amani
Multi-disciplinary artist Golboo Amani is best known for her performance and social practice works. Amani often relies on familiar social engagements as a point of entry into her practice. Critical of systemic social patterns, the artist views social situations as ready-made sites for aesthetic intervention.

Acknowledging that many of us are marked by long, personal histories and prescribed relationships with pedagogy, Amani’s work often addresses the conditions of knowledge production that render epistemic violence as invisible, insignificant and benign. Much of her work focuses on interventions or alternatives to formal sites of pedagogy to include forms, contexts and content normally excluded from institutionalized knowledge production. By expanding sites of pedagogy to include the streets, backyards, homes, public transit, Amani intends to produce non-hierarchical pedagogical experiences that speak to collective agency and egalitarian epistemology.

Amani’s work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues including the Creative Time Summit, Art Gallery of Ontario, Articule, XPACE Artist-Run Centre, Encuentro: Hemispheric Institute, Union Gallery, Blackwood Gallery, Rats9 Gallery, Rhubarb Festival, FADO Emerging Artist Series, TRANSMUTED International Festival of Performance Art (Mexico City), 221A Artist-Run Centre, and the LIVE Biennial of Performance Art.

Mohammad Rezaei
Mohammad Rezaei is an interdisciplinary artist, activist, curator, designer, web developer, community organizer and arts administrator currently residing in Toronto, Canada. Born in Iran, Rezaei immigrated to suburban streets of Calgary, Canada in his early teens. His experiences as a person with a middle eastern descent living on colonized land has deeply influenced his creative practice. His artistic practice is informed by his experiences coordinating and collaborating to make exhibitions happen. Rezaei revels in experimental approaches to making digital and IRL display strategies brought together with intentions of community building. Rezaei’s interests have led him to contribute to the establishment of exhibition spaces and art festivals, extensive involvement with artist-run centers and galleries across Canada while maintaining an independent arts and curatorial practice.

Rezaei’s projects have been funded through successful grants from Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. From 2013-2016, he was the Director of Programming at Whippersnapper Gallery in Toronto. Since 2012 Rezaei has curated and exhibited works at Truck Contemporary Art in Calgary, Contemporary Calgary, Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, 7a*11d Performance Art Festival, Xpace Cultural Centre and The New Gallery. He has published art criticism for the Canvas Magazine, Calgary Biannual, Emmedia Production House and Gallery, and Fuse Magazine.

Maryam Hafizirad
Maryam Hafizirad is an Iranian painter, from Isfahan, Iran who is Deaf. A permanent resident of Canada, Maryam graduated from Isfahan University of Fine Arts in 2002. Maryam’s first exhibition was in Iran at the age of 18. Since then her award winning works have been shown individually and as part of the artistic group “Farda”, meaning “Tomorrow”, in major cities of Iran, China, Germany, Malaysia and India.


The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of EQ Bank, a digital banking platform launched in 2016 by Equitable Bank, Canada’s Challenger Bank™. EQ Bank continually challenges the status quo to bring better banking solutions to Canadians. We are proud to celebrate and elevate the work of emerging digital artists across Canada and contribute to the growth of digital arts practice through arts education and community engagement. To learn more, visit eqbank.ca

Koffler.Digital is a program of the Koffler Centre of the Arts that provides a virtual space where artists working in the field of New Media/New Genres are able to create, experiment and develop new work; and where conversation and dialogue between artists, activists and creatives is encouraged and documented.

Koffler.Digital is committed to the intersection of social justice and artistic practice that is central to the mandate of the Koffler Centre of the Arts. We collaborate with artists, authors and individuals whose work engages issues affecting marginalized communities; who explore injustice and who look to spur constructive change and dialogue in regard to the current socio-political climate. Visit https://koffler.digital/

The Koffler Centre of the Arts is a cultural platform that explores critical ideas and concerns of our time through exhibitions, publications, performances, literary events and digital initiatives. We examine complex issues through transformative art experiences that stimulate intercultural dialogue and position Jewish identity in conversation with diverse perspectives and global voices. The Koffler Gallery and its administrative offices are located at Artscape Youngplace, in Toronto’s vibrant West Queen West art and design district. Visit https://kofflerarts.org/


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Tony Hewer, Director of Marketing, Communications and Archives
647.920.2398, thewer@kofflerarts.org