Total Anastrophe, Volcano Extravaganza


Performance & Costumes
Fiorucci Art Trust, Italy

Total Anastrophe, Volcano Extravaganza


Performance & Costumes
Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh
On the occasion of its 8th edition, the Volcano Extravaganza — the annual festival of contemporary arts conceived and produced by London-based non-profit institution, the Fiorucci Art Trust — erupted away from its volcanic centre in Stromboli, and reimagined the 8th edition of the annual Volcano Extravaganza in Dhaka. Instead of engaging with Stromboli’s landscape and the talisman of its active volcano, the programme transformed the inside of the Shilpakala Academy’s Auditorium into the inner echo chamber of an active volcano. Performative interventions evoked themes of isolation and distance; memory and mysticism; cosmic energy and the violence of nature; improvisation and theatre.

Taking the empirical and ephemeral experiences collected on the island, the Fiorucci Art Trust migrated the knowledge, the collaborations, the artists, the talks, the volcanic activities: the mind as a volcano and the emotional body with Total Anastrophes. The auditorium was turned into a theatre inside of a volcano, into an echo-chamber pervaded by sounds and moans, magmatic hertz, vibrations: frequencies of a harmonious language inside a unique cradle for performances, where voices were born from inscrutable sources and latent memories evoked. Visitors were greeted by slowed movements, reverberations and distorted sounds.

The Artistic Leader was Bangladeshi-born, London-based artist Runa Islam, while the festival was curated, as per tradition, by Milovan Farronato. The participants included Cecilia Bengolea, Alex Cecchetti, Patrizio Di Massimo, Haroon Mirza, Tobias Putrih, and Osman Yousefzada - all figures belonging to the astral orbit of the Trust.

Dogtooth Flower

July 2021

Installation, Future Systems Building
400 Meters Width, 60 Meters Height
Selfridges. Birmingham, UK

Her Dreams Are Bigger


Moving Image
Interviews with Garment Workers in Bangladesh
Whitechapel Gallery, London
First screened in 2018 as part of an exhibition at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery, and then screened again in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery and Livia Firth, "Her Dreams Are Bigger" focuses on key issues linked with the fashion industry and invites viewers to ponder about fast fashion, beauty and the condition of women workers.

Inspired during a trip to Bangladesh, the designer took with him a suitcase of "Made in Bangladesh" clothes that he had got from charity shops in the UK. He presented them to the women working in local factories who usually make these cheap items but who are not allowed to try them on. Yousefzada witnessed the women trying on the clothes, taking selfies and posing, while talking about the wearers of such clothes, who they imagine to be mythical creatures with red fierce hair and doll-like lips who mainly eat fruit.

Osman collaborated with garments workers in Bangladesh to create this film, imagining the women who wear the clothes they make. This allows the viewer an entry point for these workers to be seen as people rather than shadows driving the global capitalist supply chain. One of the women highlights in the film how she has little money and hence harbours in her heart only "small dreams", a statement that makes you ponder about the condition of these workers who seem to think that you can have grand dreams only if you are rich enough to afford them.

A Migrant’s Room of Her Own


Installation, a series of symbols, 
Solo Show, ‘Being Somewhere Else’
Ikon Gallery, UK

“A Migrant Woman’s Room of Her Own”

an acompanying text by Katie Roiphe

In this room of her own, objects are perpetually wrapped, packed, deferred for later. The hoping, plotting, preserving for the future is an explicit feature of the space. There are mysteries tied up, covered in plastic, reverently saved. Will she never quite unpack? The mood of the voyage endures. She is always arriving.

For the migrant woman, home is a receding idea of home, home is a possible future. She is actively creating a home that will never quite come into being, that will remain a half-dream. Is there a side of the migrant woman herself that will remain wrapped, enclosed, preserved for later?

In 1928, in her dazzling meditation, A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf did not address the situation of the migrant woman. The novelist’s capacious imagination did not reach as far as the migrant woman’s life, to the violence in her home, to the daunting puzzle of a new culture. But if it had she would have written this room, invoked its achievement, its aspiration. She would have seen the importance of this limited safety, this small private place to imagine, store, work. Here the migrant woman makes dresses, touches fabric; this is her place in a home that is very definitively not safe, that offers no privacy, that places women at the bottom of every hierarchy; this is her sanctuary.

Is this space, she will work to feed the children who will go on to be fashion designers, university lecturers, government employees, entrepreneurs. For the migrant woman, her children’s lives are also her art, her supreme and wily act of invention; they will live in ways she cannot even imagine, move sleekly through spaces she can’t decipher, but that possibility, that shimmering unknown, is her creative act. To save, hoard, wrap, to send off to school each day, to protect, to fail to protect, to be baffled, to be alienated, to love.

The obstacles for the migrant woman are more extreme even than those Woolf addresses in her history of the empire, and yet the beauty of the idea applies and endures through the uprooting. The room of one’s own.

To make a home in a new world, to prepare, pack, for a future you can’t know in a place you don’t understand. This impossible home-making is the migrant woman’s task. But Woolf saw that the space to think it through, to retreat, to refresh, this modest bit of physical space of her own is essential. She saw that our material conditions define our creations, our output on earth.

Woolf writes, “When I ask you to earn money and have a room of your own I am asking you to live, in the presence of reality, an invigorating life.” This particular room of one’s own is not the tidy bourgeois room Woolf was envisioning, with its tea cosies and pleasant view onto a garden, and yet her principles cohere in it. Woolf could have been speaking to the migrant woman when she writes, “I should remind you how much depends upon you, and what an influence you can exert on the future.”