Survey by Qualaroo

Under the cranes, the sky is the same

Tuesday 21 November 2017, 18:30 to 19:30

A preview of a new film by CMIR/Arnolfini bursary recipient Niyaz Saghari.

Last year, Arnolfini worked with UWE's Centre for Moving Image Research to develop a bursary for local artists working with the moving image. Bristol-based Niyaz Saghari was one of the recipients.

Join us for a preview of her new work Under the Cranes, the Sky is the Same

Saghari writes:

September 2016 marked the 10’th year since I moved to the UK. Every year I go back to visit my family, catch up with my friends and see my home town, Tehran. I bounce to Tehran (my birth town) and back to Bristol (my chosen town). My mind is in the constant state of translating and comparing the narratives of one city to the other. It’s the state of being an insider and an outsider at the same time. I see the differences and similarities of the both cities.

In my last trip, I realized our skylines are becoming similar. They are both filled with the cranes of building sites. The cranes are rushing above the skyline of both the cities that I live in. They create a feeling of boom, activity and progress while underneath them, the lives of people go along unchanged as if the cranes are living their lives and people their own.

The film consists of composite layers of my personal archive material of 10 years of travelling between Tehran and my daily life in Bristol. It is an attempt to visualise the state of the mind of belonging and caring for two cities, their lives and people.

The  film is  intended to be screened in a shahr-e-farang, a pre cinematic Iranian viewing /peeping box which was wheeled around neighbourhoods , showing pictures of foreign cities (Paris, Berlin etc...)  to an audience of mostly women and children who could watch the show and listen to a description of the cities by paying a small change to the owner. The device is still seen in Iran but it has a more decorative purpose. For this project we made a shahr-e-farang from old pieces of furniture with help from Jamie Gilman and support from PRSC.

The film will be shown on loop in Arnolfini's Dark Studio, and there will be a short talk by the artist.

For further details about the project, please see the artist's blog


Arnolfini is accessible for wheelchair users, with disabled toilets on all levels and lift access to all floors. This event will take place on the second floor.

If you have specific access requirements please email  and we'll do all we can to facilitate. Companions to disabled customers are entitled to a free ticket. 

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