Gita Hashemi’s experimental transmedia practice encompasses work that draws on visual, media, performance, site specific and live art strategies. Exploring social relations and the interconnections of language and culture, Hashemi’s work is centered on marginalized histories and contemporary politics, often with an eye on women’s experiences. She draws on written text as premise for elaborate and large-scale multi-platform projects that blur the boundaries between artistic practices. A highly trained calligrapher, she often uses the writing process as live performance and/or visual material in video, installation, image-text and net art production. Recurrent themes include decolonial acts and cultures of resistance, from 18th century East-West encounters and the 1953 coup in Iran, to the 1979 Revolution as well as Indigenous land rights in Palestine and Turtle Island. She is concerned with individual healing and social transformation, and her work often engages the viewers directly through interactive and participatory processes. She originated the maxim, “the personal is poetic, the poetic is political, the political is personal.”

Open Space Lab curator, Anna Khimasia is an independent educator, curator and artist. Her curatorial focus is contemporary art, performance and alternative practices, with a commitment to inclusion and diversity. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture at Carleton University, where she is also a contract instructor in the art history department. Anna is active in Ottawa and has worked with Galerie SAW Gallery, the Ottawa Art Gallery, SAW Video, Fait Maison, the Canada Council for the Arts, and most recently the U.S. Ambassador to Canada’s spouse, Vicki Heyman. In early 2017 she completed a residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, where she worked on a new performance project with Chicago artist Barak adé Soleil.