Asa Soltan Rahmati, a.k.a. A$A is an artist, musician and activist born in Ahwaz, Iran in 1976.
A$A: “Up until I was a teenager, I lived with my family in the immigrant ghetto of Hamburg. The general political climate in Germany was very active in the 80s with the lefts and German punks on one side and the neo-Nazis and skinheads on the other. As immigrants, our days were filled with the struggles of hatred and racism, and thereby our lives were in a continuous state of resistance and uprising.”…
“A couple of years after the Berlin Wall went down, the situation for refugees took a turn for the worse and my parents decided it was time to move again, this time to Los Angeles. In the 1980s, Beverly Hills had become an affluent Mecca for the Iranian Diaspora. My family was no longer affluent, and did not become so in America. I grew up in the margins of this society – in the slums of Beverly Hills, so to speak”
A$A’s work in her own words:
The ASAsin Manifesto is the outline of a politics of identity. It is a personal reflection on the current state of affairs in the US and in the world. Over the past years, our ability to think critically has been repeatedly put to the test. In the aftermath of violent strikes on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the world is experiencing the onset of a new era of permanent war against real and invented enemies of the American Empire. The media has bombarded us with propaganda and manipulated the emotions of the people, causing more hatred and perpetuating violence. I feel this is the moment to develop a new geopolitical aesthetic of opposition. This is a difficult enterprise: many of the most recognizable icons of dissent – Ghandi, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Che – have been incorporated by an establishment that only honors rebels when they are dead or no longer a threat. The images in my work are by contrast unfamiliar, even perhaps disturbing. My work draws on my life as a refugee. My politics are personal and this is my story.