Episode 5: Underground Art and Marginalized Voices

In the fifth episode of Siamak Pourzand Foundation’s People of the Underground podcast series, Rashin Fahandej, artist and filmmaker, speaks about the challenge of being an artist in an environment when you are altogether censored due to your religious identity. As a Baha’i growing up in Iran, Rashin explains how being “underground” was an inevitable part of her life since childhood. She describes the experience of self-censorship, when an artist of her background would not even dare to dream about bringing her art into the public realm or to openly challenge state censorship, thereby remaining inherently underground as not only an artist, but rather as a person in general. She further discusses the definition of underground and independent arts in contexts such as Iran where certain forms of art are simply considered crimes due to various political and ideological reasons. She characterizes her art outside of Iran as an endeavor that has emerged with a universal message and with the ultimate aim of giving a voice to those who have been marginalized and therefore unheard and forgotten for long.

Rashin Fahandej
Rashin Fahandej is a transdisciplinary artist and filmmaker. Her projects engage a variety of social, political and cultural issues through conceptual, psychological and aesthetic explorations. Rashin's projects has been shown internationally at various venues. Her documentaries focus on marginalized people and voices, bringing their invisible stories and histories to foreground. Rashin was one of the ten artists in residence with the City of Boston and is currently a research fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab.


  • English
  • Farsi
  • © Siamak Pourzand Foundation, 2014