The Yousef Abad Project brings poetical meanderings through the streets of its eponymous neighborhood in Tehran, where the artist spent her two final years in Iran before emigrating with her family to Israel. Elham Rokni attempts to recreate an existing geographic environment through images, sounds and texts, based on personal recollections and other sources emenating from her family and community. Far removed from the actual location both in space and time, Rokni filmed the project remotely, basing herself on simple everyday trajectories such as as walking to her former school or a visit to the local cinema. Other trajectories recreate ‘hollow memories,’ tracing experiences that never took place such as a travel outside her childhood neighborhood or a nighttime stroll.
The project started out as a collaboration between Rokni and an Iranian-born, US-resident artist, who executed the Tehran filming since Rokni, as an Israeli citizen, is prohibited from returning there. Rokni gave directing instructions and chose most of the locations.When filming was over, her collaborator, who chose to remain uncredited, decided to quit the project, fearing the association with an Israeli citizen.