Sam Yazdanpanna Ardekani (Iran, 1980) left his native country at the age of sixteen and arrived in the Netherlands in 1998. Most of his time spent studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam he was an illegal immigrant, but his stay was legalised by means of a general pardon in 2007. In his work, he researches the transformation of identity.
“Just like me, many of my friends were smuggled by plane or by road to a new, different country. I will never forget my own long journey from Iran to The Netherlands. These experiences form the basis for much of my work. I have returned to the starting point of it: a long journey without control over anything. We all had to cut off the ties with our native country. We had no idea what the future would hold, except that we were facing risks and dangers all along the way. These experiences dominate my life. The question is: what do I do with it?”
BA Gerrit Rietveld Academy - VAV (Amsterdam, NL)
Ham Nafas - writer, director, production
Forgotten Heroes - director, animation
Artist's statement: Liquid Identity
How fragments represent the transformation of identity
For me, the transformation of identity is an important source of inspiration and a great area of investigation in itself. As a story teller, I am fascinated by the challenge to represent this event. It can happen so fast. Think of that split second when you are about to fall: before you perceive any physical effect, you notice that you lost your balance. You lose control and you don’t know what the next moment will bring…
I am interested in the ways in which formal decisions affect the representation of this process. In a way, the creation of different perspectives is the method I have incorporated in this research process. More specifically, working with fragmentation inspires and enables me to reveal this transformation process in new and unexpected ways. The notion of fragments is indissolubly connected to the way we live our lives. We share all kinds of knowledge, friends, and loyalties. One of the effects is that we highly value authenticity and the overall context.
Film gives me the freedom to do what I want, liberating me from more limitations than any other medium. Like poetry, film enables me to create a new world that didn’t yet exist. I just started my research into fragmentation in film, and I look forward to continue this process systematically. By investigating the impact of fragmentation on the representation of the transformation of identity, I expect to find out a lot about both.
- 'Ham Nafas' ['Breath'] (2012)
Student Competition, Nederlands Film Festival 2012
- 'Forgotten Heroes' (2012)
- 'Zielzoeker' (2007)