The Second Generation Collective explore stories of refugee-ship, migration and identity in Boorloo. Founded by Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson and Asha Kiani in 2020, the artists comprise of migrants who fled Iran during the 1979 Revolution, and their children who have grown up on Noongar Boojar. The collective explores their experiences of displacement, resettlement, heritage, home, grief, and faith. Against the backdrop of dual identity, they confront the push and pull of cultures in order to uncover the past and embrace the present. By acknowledging communal traumas and bridging intergenerational gaps, their thoughtful multi-disciplinary artforms evoke an empathic lens within the viewer.
founders of the collective
asha kiani & Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson
Through a lens of authentic curation and communal care, Kiani and Eshraghian-Haakansson created this initiative by engaging with philosophies that ask: how can we live as a complex, unified whole, where differences are embraced, and diversity is celebrated? How do we create a compassionate foundation from which our truths are heard and acknowledged? What does it take to truly understand the process of healing in our communities? The projects and artworks that emerge from the Collective aim to untangle the fragments of what it means to listen and understand moments of suffering, hardship, hope and faith in the human experience; to embrace the universality of grief and normalise expressing our truths so that xenophobia, estrangement and apathy are replaced with connection, empathy and oneness.
video artist, writer, producer, director
Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson (Boorloo, 1996) is a Bahá’í Video Artist, exploring the Iranian diaspora within the Australian community. She examines the inter- generational dialogue between the first generation (those who were displaced as a result of the 1979 Iranian Revolution) and second generation (children of those displaced) in an attempt to understand her familial history and duality. Eshraghian-Haakansson’s art expresses this through the affective poetic space of installation art and aesthetic devices of choreographed performance and archival documentation, she acknowledges and uncovers the emotional impact felt by first generation refugees. Eshraghian-Haakansson is co-founder of the Second
Generation Collective alongside co-founder Performance Artist & Musician Asha Kiani. Eshraghian- Haakansson is currently continuing her research at the university, whilst involved in major projects set to exhibit in the coming year including the Community Arts Network Lotterywest, Avareh & Found by the Second Generation Collective, supported by Propel Youth Arts WA and Centre for Stories. She co-produced the live performance created by Asha Kiani, for the 900s Summer Nights Program at the Blue Room Theatre (2021). Eshraghian-Haakansson's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, receiving multiple awards for her art. She was a recipient of one of Western Australia’s most prestigious art prizes, the Invitation Art Prize for her work ‘face to face’ (2020). She is currently engaging with community art-based practices, uncovering connections based on trust, custodianship and shared artistic language, advocating for communal and self-care.
MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ARTIST, writer, producer, director
Asha Kiani is a performer, theatre maker, storyteller, musician and Teacher. Born and raised by her Indian father and Irish mother on Wardandi Nyungar country and married into an Iranian-Australian family, Asha draws inspiration from the diverse threads that weave her identity. Asha has been involved in story telling projects with The Centre for Stories and Perth Festival and, in 2019 helped devise and perform in Saga Sisterhood, a transformative performance project for South Asian women. In January 2020, Asha wrote and performed her debut solo piece Drift which explored grief and loss and received the most audience votes for Best of (The Blue Room Theatre, 600 Seconds, Perth Fringe World Festival). In June 2020, Asha co-founded the Second Generation Collective with local Video Artist Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson. Asha and Elham are working with the local Iranian-Australian community, to curate stories of displacement, migration, home and identity via multi-modal art forms. Inspired by her work with this community, Asha wrote, directed and performed in Áváreh آواره & Found at The Blue Room Theatre in January 2021. In February 2021, Eshraghian-Haakansson and Kiani participated together in the 2021 Perth Festival Connect Lab which immerses a selection of emerging artists in the work and ideas of the festival. Currently, Asha works as a Teaching Artist for Barking Gecko Theatre Company and on the production team for The Dirty Mother by Michelle Hall (nominated Best Theatre, Melbourne Fringe 2020). She is also a member of Women of Music Production Perth (WOMPP) and is writing and producing her debut EP. Asha pursues the ‘untold stories’ around her and seeks to connect with audiences via authenticity, empathy, vulnerability and humour.