In late-August 2004, Abedar Kamgari began moving west. She traveled with her mother by boat and train, leaving Iran for Turkey as a refugee; this was the start of the journey that eventually brought her to Toronto in 2006, and to Hamilton in 2012.
The Journey West is a durational performance-for-video and creative retelling of Abedar’s experience as a refugee and immigrant, enacted on the thirteenth anniversary of her initial departure. Walking the 87-kilometre distance from Toronto to Hamilton, traversing the land between her two adopted hometowns, Abedar invokes memories of this formative passage.
For its debut exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Abedar’s 30-hour video will be shown alongside research materials that informed the artist’s process, including historical artworks, and family archives. Through the thoughtful juxtaposition of material objects and re-enacted histories, Abedar points to the ongoing nature of diaspora, displacement, and evolving notions of shared cultural heritage.