Gita Hashemi

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Gita Hashemi
گیتا هاشمی
Shiraz, Iran
EducationTehran University School of Fine Arts, Iranian Calligraphy Institute, CSUN, York University
Known forInstallation art, Performance art, writing, curating
Notable work
Of Shifting Shadows, Ephemeral Monument, Headquarters: Pathology of an Ouster, Passages Trilogy, Declarations diptych, Grounding

Gita Hashemi (Persian: گیتا هاشمی, born 1961) is an Iranian-born artist, writer and curator residing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her work juxtaposes history and the present, political and personal, and local and global. It draws on language as both visual and narrative element, and includes installation, video, and performance art, with collaborative, participatory and interactive strategies.[1]


Hashemi was born in Shiraz.[2] Due to her vocal political stance, Hashemi was expelled from the College of Fine Arts at the University of Iran.[3] In 1984, she was forced to leave Iran.[3]

She is known for her maxim, "The personal is poetic, the poetic is political, the political is personal."[3] As an artist, she is less interested in working in the artistic mainstream and more interested in using art for activism.[4]


She is the first Iranian artist to perform calligraphy as a live art,[5] which she refers to as embodied writing. She was an early practitioner of Net art and Digital art (early-1990s to mid-2000s).[6] Her narrative CD-R Of Shifting Shadows: Revisiting the 1979 Iranian Revolution through an Exilic Journey in History and Memory (2000) is a comprehensive artistic account of the Iranian Revolution and has been exhibited widely.[6] Leonardo wrote that Of Shifting Shadows causes the viewer to "move like nomads around this place of images and sounds, locating the place where we can arrive at an understanding of the depth of these experiences."[7]

In 2013, she showed an exhibit called The Idea of Freedom at the Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI).[3] The Hemispheric Institute wrote that The Idea of Freedom looks at the events in Iranian history and then "channels them into insights that are as personal as they are political."[8]

In 2017, she was the first artist to use the Open Space Lab at Carleton University where she created large-scale Persian calligraphy based on the memoirs of a friend.[2]

She has won the Ontario Association of Art Galleries' 2017 Monographic Exhibition of the Year for the monumental interdisciplinary performance Grounding,[9] and the Baddeck International New Media Festival award for disk-based work for Of Shifting Shadows.[10] Her work has been shown at the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum[11] and at the Museo Fernando García Ponce - MACAY [es] (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Yucatan).[12]


  • Like Flesh and Blood[13]
  • Afghanistan, 2002: No Refuge[14]
  • The Idea of Freedom by Gita Hashemi[15]


  1. ^ Gita Hashemi. "gita hashemi گیتا هاشمی". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  2. ^ a b Kveton, Adam (6 February 2017). "Artist creating Iranian woman's memoir with large-scale calligraphy at Carleton University". Metro News. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Sultana, Bipasha (25 November 2013). "Political poetry". The McGill Daily. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  4. ^ "Interactiva 05 Special Report: Eduardo Navas". NetArtReview. 2005. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  5. ^ Hermant, Heather. "Body Precedes Inscription". voz-a-voz. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b Mottahedeh, Negar (2003-05-23). "After-Images of a Revolution". Radical History Review. 86 (1): 183–192. doi:10.1215/01636545-2003-86-183. ISSN 1534-1453. S2CID 144099846 – via Project MUSE.
  7. ^ Leggett, Mike (2003-03-18). "Of Shifting Shadows (review)". Leonardo. 36 (1): 86. ISSN 1530-9282 – via Project MUSE.
  8. ^ Díaz, Cristel Jusino. "e11.1 Art Review The Idea of Freedom". Hemispheric Institute (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  9. ^ "Awards: 2017". Ontario Association of Art Galleries. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Of Shifting Shadows". V Tape. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Selfportrait". CAM MUSEUM. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  12. ^ "Performance as Feminist Historiography: An Interview with Gita Hashemi on Zandokht Shirazi and Early Radical Feminism in Iran". Duke University Press.
  13. ^ "Gita Hashemi: Like Flesh and Blood". SAVAC.
  14. ^ "AFGHANISTAN, 2002: NOREFUGE". Centre for Refugee Studies, York University Libraries.
  15. ^ "The Idea of Freedom by Gita Hashemi". Hemispheric Institute.

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