Private Project

Self-Portrait and Other Ruins

An exiled dancer returns home after her grandmothers sudden Covid death and unveils memories of loss through movement. In her childhood home, the dancer's body becomes a place of remembrance, revealing echoes of countless lives etched on the walls.

Ghazal Ramzani's debut dance film, "Self-Portrait and Other Ruins," is a poetic tribute to her foremothers' legacy of resistance. Directed, choreographed, danced, and produced by Ramzani, the film traces the emotional odyssey of the artist against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic in Qaemshahr, Iran. Triggered by her grandmother's passing due to the virus, her return home after years of exile unveils memories of loss. At the heart of this dance film lies the notion of self as a collective entity, fragmented by repeated traumas of displacement and separation. In her childhood home, the dancer's body becomes a place of remembrance, revealing not just her story but echoes of countless lives etched on the walls. The medium of film allows the movements to unfold in the solitude of the modest home, for Ghazal Ramzani, a place of observation, emotion, and dance - the very bedrock of her artistic expression. Contemplating the collective self, fractured by loss, united in resistance, the artist reshapes the ruins of the past into a fragmented self-portrait – a kinetic archive of female working-class history, a site of resistance where love and laughter let the door open for healing.

  • Ghazal Ramzani
  • Ghazal Ramzani
  • Ghazal Ramzani
  • Ghazal Ramzani
    Key Cast
    "Concept, Choreography,Dance, Videography"
  • Ella Bergström
    Key Cast
    "Music Composition, production and music performance"
  • Niusha Ramzani
    Key Cast
    "Dramatic Adviser"
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student, Other
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 12 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 12, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    400 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Gothenburg
Director Biography - Ghazal Ramzani

Ghazal Ramzani is a Berlin-based, Iranian dancer and choreographer. She received her formal dance training in North-Indian classical dance Kathak from The National School of Kathak Dance-New Delhi and carried out her Master of fine arts in Contemporary Performative Arts from the University of Gothenburg-School of Music and Drama. As a Kathak dancer she has worked with different renowned choreographers in India such as Pt. Rajendra Kumar Gangani and performed on numerous stages in India and Europe. Ghazal Ramzani's choreographic and artistic practice intersects dance, story-telling, community work, and social-political commitment. Her latest creations evolve around suppressed memories of working-class, female resistance in Iran.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

„Self-Portrait and Other Ruins“ evolved in a 10 months process during the Covid 19 pandemic in my hometown Qaemshahr-Mazandaran/Iran. My grandmother's death due to the virus opened old wounds that exile had inflicted on my body. She was my earth and my homeland. In her empty house, memories of a lost paradise that still is my deepest longing, started moving my body. Carried by an always present past, I started dancing, in every room, in the yard, through memories. I danced with long-departed bodies. With my eyes shut I became my mother's rebellion, my grandmother's smile, my great-grandmother's lullaby. I became the growing ancestral tree. In „Self-Portrait and Other Ruins“ I pay tribute to my female ancestors and to their legacy of pain, love and resistance.