Mammad Aidani, Omid Movafagh, Mike Fard, Mohsen Panahi & Hoda Kazemitame

Mammad Aidani is an Iranian born playwright, theatre maker and director, poet and philosopher whose past decade of work concentrates on the use of performing arts as a medium to address the trauma of violence and alienation in diaspora communities. He is author of 'Welcoming the Stranger: Narratives of Identity and Belonging in an Iranian Diaspora' (Common Ground, 2010); 'Narrative and Violence: Ways of Suffering amongst Iranian Men in Diaspora' (Ashgate, 2013); and “Face to Face: Ethics and Responsibility” in 'Values and Vulnerabilities: The Ethics of Research with Refugees and Asylum Seekers' (Australian Academic Press, 2013). He is based in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne.

Omid Movafagh studied acting and directing from 2000 to 2003. His acting credits include the 2013 feature film ‘Dark Ocean’, a film about asylum seekers and refugees and the issues of diaspora; the 2014 short film ‘Like a Bear in the Night’, a true story about a film director who has been arrested by the Iranian government and the subsequent events after the arrest; and several commercial projects in 2014.

Mike Fard (Hamidreza) is a film maker, photographer and interior designer. He has been involved with film industry since 1997 and worked in his own private studio Alftab Film Co. Mike has edited documentaries and feature films in Iran and worked as assistant to internationally acclaimed Iranian film maker EbrahimFrozesh, and made short animation advertising films in Iran. He was the editor of the documentary film ‘the Jews of Iran’ that has been shown at over twenty international film festivals. Mike has participated in film and TV courses at Swinburne University.

Mohsen Panahi is a film maker, set designer, custom designer and photographer. Originally trained as an electrician and carpenter in Iran, Mohsen was involved in set production in the Iranian film industry since the 1990’s, working for Taban Film, Mehrab Film, Jalali Office and Mahan Film Office. He worked as film & theatre production designer and decorator for Shabani Film & Theatre and Abandad Film till 2010. He volunteers as set and costume designer and photographer for the Iranian-Australian Film Association, and is a member of League of Technical Designers - Khaneh Cinema Iran.

Hoda Kazemitame is a graduate in Persian literature, storyteller and author of short stories and plays who worked as a librarian, drama and creative writing teacher with children and youth in Iran 2007-2011. She is currently co-coordinating a childrens storytelling group with Iranian children at the Maningham Library.


A dialogue with Iranian asylum seekers and refugee artists on their making a film in Melbourne. This project part of the ASSEMBLY symposium event Program


An installation exploring asylum seekers' experiences of displacement. This project part of the TRACES gallery exposition Program