Image Description: A colour photo of a brown woman with medium-short dark brown hair curling slightly around her face. She is seen seated on the other side of a wood-framed window, wearing a loose white blouse over jeans and a brown top. Photo by Philippa Langley for Vie des arts.

Sanaz Sohrabi

Sanaz Sohrabi (b.1988, Tehran) is a researcher of visual culture and filmmaker. Sohrabi works with essay film and installation as her means of research to explore the shifting and migratory paths between still and moving images, situating a singular image in a continuum of historical relations and archival temporalities. Since 2017, Sohrabi has done extensive archival research at the British Petroleum archives to engage with the history of photography and film practices of the British controlled oil operations in Iran, conducting a visual ethnography of resource extraction in relation to the media infrastructures of BP.  Sohrabi’s works have been shown widely in exhibitions and festivals. Including: Berlinale Forum Expanded 2023, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), IndieLisboa (Silvestre Section Best Short Film), Valdivia International Film Festival Chile (Special Jury Mention), Iran Cinéma Vérité Festival (Winner of International Mid-length), Mimesis Documentary Film Festival (Best Documentary Short), Ann Arbor Film Festival (Jury Award),  Open City Documentary Film Festival, Montréal International Documentary Film Festival (RIDM), Sheffield Doc/Fest, Kasseler Dokfest, Videonale, VideoEX Zurich, FIDBA Argentina, among others. Sohrabi’s recent exhibitions include Ljubljana Biennial 2023, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, VOX Centre de l'image contemporaine and Centre Clark, Montréal, and Carpintarias de São Lázaro, Lisbon. Sohrabi has been supported by fellowships and artist residency awards such as Forum Transregionale Studien Berlin, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and RAW Académie. 

She received her BFA from University of Tehran College of Fine Arts and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a merit scholarship. She holds a PhD from the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture at Concordia University supported by Fonds de Recherche du Québec Société et Culture (FRQSC). Sohrabi is a member of the research group “Oil Cultures from the Middle East and Latin America (OCMELA),” with whom she has published a conversation with Murtaza Vali, titled “Petromobilities in the Global South,” released by Museumsforlaget in Norway in March 2022.

Participant in the following FMS projects

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PhD Student, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture

Greenhouse Effects: The Mediation of Life and the Migration of Labor. [in process]

Moving Images: Mediating Migration as Crisis. Co-edited with Tyler Morgenstern & Ian Alan Paul. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2020.

Prismatic Media, Transnational Circuits: Feminism in a Globalized Present. Global Cinema Series. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Book chapters
"SOPHIA: The language of 'trafficking' and the mediation of gendered migration" in Moving Images: Mediating Migration as Crisis. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2020.

"Introduction: In and Against Crisis" (with Tyler Morgenstern and Ian Alan Paul). in Moving Images: Mediating Migration as Crisis. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2020.

"Either You Get it or You Don't: A Conversation with LGBTQI Refugees in Greece's #Rockumenta Action" (with Sophia Zachariadi) in Moving Images: Mediating Migration as Crisis. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2020.

“Cyborgs and Virtual Bodies” co-authored with Katerina Symes in The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory. Lisa Disch and Mary Hawkesworth, Editors. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

"World of Matter: Introduction: Planetary Aesthetics" in Elemental: an arts and ecology reader. James Brady, Editor. Gaia Project, 2016.

“On the Ground: Media in Conflict Zones” in Space (Re)Solutions: Intervention and Research in Visual Culture. Peter Mortenböck and Helge Mooshammer (Eds). Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2011.


"Pollination and the Horrors of Yield: Scarcity and Survival in the Glasshouse." Catalyst, 2023.

"Greenhouse Effects: Captive Labour, or How Like a  (Salad) Leaf." Heliotrope, 2021.

"Decolonizing Corporeality: Teresa Margolles's Lively Corpses" Social Text, Vol.37, No.4, 2019.

"Drowned at Sea: What haunts the stories of trafficked women?" Feminist Media Studies. Critique & Commentary: Gender, Migration and the Media. Vol.18, No.6, 2018.

"Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Performative Politics and Queer Migrant Activisms". ADA: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology. Issue 14: Visualizing Protest, 2018.

"Global Pictures: Formalist Strategies in the Era of New Media". Postmodern Culture. Vol.25, No.2, 2015.

“A Discrepant Conjuncture: Feminist Theorizing Across Media Cultures”. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No.1, 2012.

“Poetic Resistance and the Classroom Without Guarantees”. Theory & Event. Vol.15, No.3. Supplement. Autumn 2012.

“Visual Currencies: Documenting India’s Red Light Districts”. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Vol.37, No.1, Autumn 2011, 109-132.

"Perversions of Modesty: Lars von Trier's The Five Obstructions and 'the most miserable place on earth." Third Text. Vol.24, No.5, 2010.


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