Celebrating Bay Area Activism 

Mazinani_LGBTQ_RightsThis series of six posters takes as its inspiration the rich lineage of social activism in San Francisco. The posters pair historical images from an important social movement of the past fifty years with recent photographs from the Bay Area’s contemporary social justice movements. Combined, images of the past inform those of today, just as this new generation of activists draws from and reflects on the values of their predecessors. The geometries created by sequentially coupling, repeating, mirroring, and multiplying the source material frame a vision of a struggle that unites us all.

To me, the public sphere is not only one of the most relevant spaces to inform art, but also the most poignant to make art. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2009, I remain drawn to the narrative of its political struggles and the ways in which the people of San Francisco have paved the way for many social advances that we enjoy today. I am especially thrilled to be living in the US at a time when the Occupy Movement has forged spaces for conversation, and awakened political activism.

I thank all the photographers whose images have been included in this project. I see this series as a collaboration with many talented photographers whose images have documented and given voice to the political struggles of our communities.

This project was made possible through the support of the San Francisco Arts Commission.


About the Artist

Sanaz Mazinani is an artist, curator, and educator based in San Francisco and Toronto. She holds her undergraduate degree from Ontario College of Art & Design University, and her Masters in Fine Arts from Stanford University.Sanaz_Mazinani_Portrait

She co-edited the book ALMANAC: An Index of Current Work and Thought (Stanford University, 2010). She is the 2013 Visual Arts Curator for the Iranian Canadian Centre for Art & Culture’s interdisciplinary arts biennial, Tirgan. In 2012, she was Guest Curator at Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University where she curated Edward Weston: On Light, Line and Form. Most recently she co-curated New Constellations: Contemporary Iranian Video Art.

Her projects have been exhibited in venues such as University of Toronto Art Center, Museum Bärengasse, Zurich,  Art & Architecture Library at Stanford University, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Gallery 44 Center for Contemporary Photography,  Toronto, and Emirates Financial Towers, Dubai. Her artwork has been written about in Border Crossings, Nuva Luz, NOW Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, and Dide.

Mazinani’s catalogue “Unfolding Images” was released in 2012. She has recently received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and San Francisco Arts Commission for her art practice. She was shortlisted for the 2013 Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize, granted the Kala Art Institute Fellowship, and was awarded the San Francisco Arts Commission Art on Market Street public art installation for 2013/2014.


With special thanks to Arianne Gelardin, who has eloquently written the poster and website text for this project.