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1 mile2 at Azad Art Gallery


Mehrdad Afsari, Mahmoud Bakhshi, Andrew Dodds, Bijan Moosavi, Neda Razavipour, Kianoosh Vahabi1mile² is an international program, launched in 2009 by Visiting Arts that addresses the interrelation between culture and the environment within diverse societies, and provides creative learning opportunities through a process shaped by artistic practice.

1mile² asks communities to map their neighborhood exploring the biodiversity, cultural diversity, and aesthetic diversity of their local square mile. Working in collaboration with artists and ecologists, communities will participate in creative workshops and field sessions over a three-year period. Communities are linked across the world through an internet platform that shares and challenges their findings, perceptions, ideas, experiences and creativity and encourages new connections between people.

1mile² was organized in Tehran through a collaboration between Visiting Arts and IOAA (Interdisciplinary Office for Art & Architecture). Five Iranian artists, a guest artist from Northern Ireland and a team of ecologists participated in the program which was launched in December 2009. During the course of 1mile² in Tehran we explored ecological, cultural and social diversities within the selected neighborhood, where urban structures of north and south converge. This area is the meeting point for people from various walks of life in terms of race, culture, economy and social statues due to its specific location at the heart of Tehran where business, culture and social activities are in a constant exchange in a dense urban environment.

Although this crowded and complex setting is apparently an unfavorable environment for natural life, a vibrant ecosystem – which spans from microscopic to macroscopic scales – is consistently adapting itself to various environmental changes resulting from human activities. The team has been observing and discussing these aspects with the help of ecologists during the project.

“Tehran: 1 mile²” depicts our collective and individual reflections on these themes and marks the final phase of our project in Tehran.

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