Supporting Resistance is supporting Education

Similar to many well-known revolutions that have occurred in the world, leaving their mark in the history and regenerating a new society, Rojava revolution began in the city of Kobane, its waves not only extended to the regions of Efrin and Czere, the revolution eventually came into life, expanded, and crossed the boundaries of Rojava. Rojava revolution leads the path in defending universal human values. Revolutions give voice to all people who desire peace and democracy. Peoples’ hopes can only be fulfilled in freedom. The women’s revolution is against the existing patriarchal mindset. The struggle is against brutal reactionary fundamentalist forces and oppressive authoritarian regimes.

Rojava revolution was an intellectual and scientific revolution. With all its achievements, it has become a source of inspiration and a model. Many governments and parties couldnot face the reality of what this revolution has achieved and were afraid of it; therefore, they launched violent attacks on the Rojava region. Many plans have been made to destroy this revolutionary project. I push back against the reactionary narrative of deeming the current administration in Rojava ‘better’ than the others in the Middle East and thus in constant need of indulgence against fair and unfair criticism. Sympathetic and serious critique is essential to writing about an event of Rojava’s magnitude nonetheless, international support and the number of friends who have put their faith in this project has increased throghout the years. The resistance exercised in Rojava is unmatched. However, there is an essensial needs for the better plans and paths of this exemplary resistance.

Meshki Collective, founded by Shirin Bolourchi since 2015. Through research, video, sculpture, photography, wall painting, and various objects she is curating environments that submerge viewers in a flood of experiences, which addresses critical thinking. Her works talk through the intersections between philosophy, realpolitik, political theory, and post-revolutionary design, with a particular focus on Rojhilatê the Iranian Kurdistan or Eastern Kurdistan.

Shirin Bolourchi was born on icy December in Tehran-Iran. She is a Kurdish-Iranian-American Visual Artist, Independent Curator, Writer, Poet and Blogger. Presently, she is living and working in an exile. After College, Shirin applied to Tehran Sooreh Art University and was admitted to The School of Dramatic Arts. She was graduated with her BFA Degree in Puppet Theater Directing. Following her education, she immigrated to Canada and later to the United States Of America to continue her Post-Graduate in Fine Arts. She received her MFA (Master in Fine Arts) from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

War is the deadliest performance act mankind has invented since its creation on this planet. As a child born on an icy December morning in Tehran-Iran, in the midst of the Iran-Iraq war, as bombs fell on the city. I carry this burden with me, in my nightmares and my lens as an artist; from beautifully framed faces of “martyrs” in the Zahra’s Heaven (Tehran’s main cemetery) to the constant broadcast marches of teenagers in military outfits, adorned with “Ya Hossein”(1) bandanas. These were amongst faces of identity that surrounded my childhood, as a woman, in a post-revolutionary Iran. 

While being surrounded by influential works of masters such as David Lynch and Philip Glass, I was in pursuit of avenues of expression, not only as Iranian but also as a female artist. As my modes of expression – theater, installation and video art, photography, writing and blogging  – were shaped as a result of growing up in a constant moving landscape of a society in turmoil. 

After College, I moved forth to receive my B.F.A. in Theater, from Tehran’s Sooreh Institute of Art (school of Drama), where I honed down my skills in inter-disciplinary forms of expression. In response to personal and cultural challenges on the path of adapting to the changing socio-political environment in Iran, I initiated numerous independent projects. Amongst others “Self Installation” is a series started in Tehran where I explored a new perspective and modes of vision towards my environment and the landscape in a state of constant change – which continues to the present day. The unique educational experience within the interdisciplinary art of theater only deepened my thirst for further explorations. 

However it was shortly after, that I was faced with watching army tanks in streets of Tehran, turning their guns into the protesters, where I found myself being hunted for daring to ask for my own right as a human, as a citizen, and as woman, during the uprising known as The Iranian Green Movement (2) in Iran. Thus I had no choice but to leave my birth land, and immigrate to Canada – perhaps amongst the hardest things any human has to endure. 

Hence the second phase of my artistic exploration was born: identity within the sphere of an immigrant.  Immigration – fundamentally a process of deconstruction and reconstruction of the self – became a lens through which I created my work. Inspired by Isa Genzken and Anish Kapoor, on opposing ends of the spectrum, I began to explore a contrasting spectrum of presence: internal and external perspectives, in the form of video art, characterized by the developing technology of the mobile phone-camera. The resulting series of short instances documented a self-mediated experience, approaching every instance of reality as a platform of performance.

At this juncture in my life, I want to urge to move beyond my previous artistic practice and engage in a much more in depth exploration of human’s identity however in this phase, my perspective is built not only as an immigrant, but more specifically as an Kurdish-Iranian-American female artist, transplanted into a 21st century post-digital western society. Furthermore I am aiming to imagine a more human digital future where contributing to social justice would shift the current narrative of our digital future. 

                                                                For: “philosophical concepts that might give shape to ideas and cohere positions of agency and interventions that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible.” 

Solo Exhibitions

2020 Artists in Isolation Series, Venice, Los Angeles, CA

2019 Feel The Burn, PØST Kamikaze 19, at MIM Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2017 The evidence is not difficult to interpret, Back Gallery, Culver City, CA

2017 Untitled, Back Gallery, Culver City, CA

2017 Unauthorized SFMOMA Show #647 (online solo exhibition), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

2017 Meshki: Royal Black, Potato Sacks, i.e., Meaningmization, Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Back into My Eyes Again, OTIS Graduate Department, Culver City, CA

Group Exhibitions

2021 ‘Synesthesia Immune’, at Massachusetts College Of Liberal Arts (MCLA), Gallery 51, Massachusetts. 21 in an online group exhibition curated by Shasha Dothan “A Tourist in your own home”

2020  Agent of Ordinary Pleasures, at The Lodge galerry, In partnership with  Maiden L.A., Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

2019 Therefore I am, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA

2019 Print Fair & Festival, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA

2017 Annual Exhibition ’17, Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2017 Graduate Open Studios, OTIS Graduate Department, Culver City, CA

2017 Intake, Four Friends Gallery, Thousand Oaks, CA

2017 FAR Bazaar, Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA

2017 Inauguration, O.R. Gallery, Culver City, CA

2016 Liminal Spaces Between Life And Death, Appreciation And Appropriation, Square Gallery, London, UK

2016 Power of Interconnectivity, O.R. Gallery, Culver City, CA

2016 In Time and Space, Bells Art Factory, Ventura, CA

2015 Chaos theory, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA

As Meshki Collective

2020 ‘Genesis’, short film by The Iranian Film Director: Abtin Mozaffari, A conversation in partnership with Maiden L.A., Online Event, Los Angeles, CA

2018 Wilmington Art Walk, Wilmington, CA

2018 Pins And Patches Expo, Santa Ana, CA

2018 Maiden L.A., Los Angeles, CA

2018 White Circle, Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran

2018 Other Places Art Fair, San Pedro, CA

2017 Art Bazaar, O.R. Gallery, Culver City, CA

2017 Maiden L.A., Los Angeles, CA

2017 DNC, PØST, Los Angeles, CA

2017 DNC, Proxy Gallery, Culver City, CA

2017 The Lift, O.R. Gallery, Culver City, CA

2017 Meshki: Royal Black, Potato Sacks, i.e., Meaningmization, Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2017 Directed Scores, Ben Maltz Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


2018, PROXY GALLERY is Assistant Chair Annetta Kapon's micro-gallery project operating in Culver City as of January 2013, as a continuation of her Hole-in-the-Wall gallery in El Segundo. Proxy hosts 12 group or one-person exhibitions a year, curated by a roster of guest curators. The book documents the first 33 exhibitions since 2013.

2016, It's The Girl of All The Winds: Dokhtar-e Hame Baad-hast, Publication: Poems By Shirin Bolourchi, Publisher: H&S Media, Language: Persian

2021, Wherever I go, Whatever I do: Short stories and  illustrations by Shirin Bolourchi