Azar Saiyar’s My Home selected for the Forum Expanded strand at Berlinale

Azar Saiyar’s My Home (2022) was selected for the Forum Expanded strand at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), held from February 10–20 2022. The festival will be organised as an in-person 2G-plus event (additional masking and testing requirement). Forum Expanded is a section independently curated and organised by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art as part of the Berlinale. In addition to the festival screenings held in Berlin, there will be two screenings of My Home in the online version of the European Film Market.

Azar Saiyar: My Home (2022)

“A bee stung me on my finger. It happened yesterday in the yard of a kindergarten, even though I am not in kindergarten anymore.” Fragmented memories of childhood and adulthood blend together in a song that an unknown narrator is humming. Children are learning a new game in a sixties TV show. Someone is waiting in the hallway for permission to re-enter the classroom. Everything is set. Everything is nailed down. 

Lev Vygotski states in the book Thinking and Speech (1934) based on his and his group’s research: “Taking a pencil in their hand for the first time, the child begins to draw and only later names the product of their drawing. Gradually, in accordance with the level of the development of their activity, naming the drawing moves first toward the mid-point and eventually to the beginning of the action. At this point, it begins to define the whole action and the purpose that it realizes.”

Childhood is both hard to forget and remember. There is a lack of words as we are still learning them – the way that words are put together and then valuated. My Home goes through various archives, both personal and public, from different times and from different moments of life. It tries to remember. These ingredients do not build a single coherent narrative, one pure argument, a continuously developing story of growth, nor a piece that is solely a person’s own. We know and remember things even if they have not happened to us. 

Azar Saiyar: My Home (2022)

Azar Saiyar (b. 1979, Vantaa) is a Helsinki-based filmmaker and visual artist whose art has been shown at film and media art festivals (e.g. DOK Leipzig, Uppsala SFF, IFF Message to Man, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin), galleries, exhibitions, museums and on television. She often uses archive materials and plays with images and words of our collective memory. This way, she approaches ways of looking, speaking, remembering and telling stories. She also does collaborative works with other artists.

72nd Berlin International Film Festival, February 10–20 2022, Germany

More information: Berlinale

AV-arkki has promoted and distributed Finnish media art since 1989. AV-arkki’s promotional efforts have made the artists’ participation in this event possible.