40. Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg
Deutscher Wettbewerb
screening of Curro
5th of June, 7 pm at Zeise 1 (cinema), Hamburg
7th of June, 9:30 pm at Kino 3001, Hamburg

Biennale Gherdëina 9: The Parliament of Marmots
Ortisei and Val Gardena, Dolomites
31st of May – 1st of September 2024

Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg
17th of May – 3rd of November 2024

A Home for Something Unknown
Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin
Opening 1st of March 2024, 7 pm

THESES ON HOPE, #15 Yalda Afsah
film screening and conversation
screening of Curro, SSRC, Vidourle, Tourneur
Between Bridges, Berlin
2nd of February 2024, 7 pm

film screening of Farah and talk (Yalda Afsah & Ginan Seidl)
soft power, Berlin
23rd of November 2023

online screening
Kırık, online
20th – 26th of November 2023

KFFK / Kurzfilmfestival Köln
film screening of SSRC: 16st and 17st of November 2023
Filmhaus Kino, Köln
14th – 19th of November 2023

Premiere Farah + Filmgespräch
film screening of Farah (Yalda Afsah & Ginan Seidl)
Wolf Kino, Berlin
30st of October 2023

1 Day Project
film screening of Curro, 2023
KIN, Brussels
23rd of October 2023

To Surge Is To Spray Forth To The Sky #1: Taking Form
PW-Magazine, online
8th–22nd of October 2023

Videoart at Midnight
BAW Garten, Neue Nationalgalerie
Screening of SSRC: September 14th 2023

Eye to Eye
Solo exhibition
JOAN, Los Angeles
9th of September – 22nd of October 2023

when being one thing and then being another
Klosterfelde Edition, Berlin
13th, 17th, 20th of August 2023

Palazzo Tamborino Cezzi, Lecce
28th of July –26th of August 2023

Lange Filmnacht Witten
Café Leye, Witten
24th and 25th of June, 2023

Simurgh. Ten Female Artists from Iran.
Galerie Crone, Berlin
28th of April – 17th of June, 2023

Between Bridges
Artist in residency exhibition, Berlin
26th of April – 27th of May 2023

69. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen
Screnning of SSRC: 30th of April 2023
26th of April – 1st of May 2023

TOUCH. Politiken der Berührung
EMOP Berlin. European Month of Photography
Amtsalon, Berlin
3rd – 31st of March 2023

Großer Hans-Purrmann-Preis 2023
February 2023

Double Feature
SCHIRN Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
14th of December 2022

39. Kasseler Dokfest
15th – 20th of November 2022

Hanging Gardens of Oberlandstrasse
Atelier Gardens, Berlin
4th – 12th of November 2022

Scrambled Ontologies: A Fabulation
Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf
21st of October – 22nd of December

Pylon Lab
online screening Bacha Posh
14th – 28th of October 2022

Optimised Fables about a Good Life
PLATO, Ostrava
Opening: 21st of September 2022

Open Air Screening und Artist Talk mit Yalda Afsah
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
Bauhütte Kreuzberg
10th of September 2022

Concorto Film Festival
20th – 27th of August 2022

Controra Ep.II
Palazzo San Giuseppe, Polignano a Mare
21st of July – 20th of August 2022

The Case Against Reality
Palai Project
Archeological Site of Mura Urbiche, Lecce
26th – 28 June 2022

Every word was once an animal
Solo Show
HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, Graz
25th of June – 28th of September 2022

AFF Artist Film Festival
Artport The Center for Young Art, Tel Aviv
16th – 18th of June 2022

Dittrich & Schlechtriemen, Berlin
29th of April – 25th of June, 2022

IBB Videoraum
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
30th of March – 25th of May 2022

BAR, Torino
5th of March – 15th of May 2022

Every word was once an animal
Solo Show
Kunstverein München
14th of January – 10th of April 2022

Graduale 21: Imagine Something New, Like Justice
Galerie Wedding – Raum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Berlin
16th – 25th of September 2021

Uferhallen, Berlin
10th – 13th of September 2021

Paris | 23rd – 28th of February 2021
Berlin | 25th – 29th of August 2021

A House of Many Parts
Goethe-Institut Bangkok
6th of December 2020

Virtueller Videoraum
Berlinische Galerie
1st of October – 31st of December 2020

Manifesta 13 Marseille
Traits d’union.s
Le Conservatoire National à Rayonnement Régional
9th of October – 29th of November 2020

A Year Without the Southern Sun
XC.HuA Gallery, Berlin
22nd of February – 30th of May 2020

IBB Videoraum
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
5th of February – 3rd of March 2020

Locarno Film Festival
Locarno Shorts Weeks
1st – 29th of February 2020

A Word of Warning
Spike Berlin
19th – 22nd of September 2019

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Stipendium
Düsseldorfer Kunsthalle
5th of September – 10th of November 2019

Videoart at Midnight
Summer Special: Berlin program for artists
23rd of August 2019

Sarajevo Film Festival
Section European Shorts
14th – 21th of August 2019

solo show
7th – 24th of July 2019

A Fire On The Moon
Lia Rumma Gallery, Naples
19th of June – 29th of July 2019

35. Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg
4th – 10th of June 2019

Wild Grammar
European Media Art Festival No. 32, Osnabrück
24th of April – 30th of June 2019

Institute of Contemporary Arts, ICA London
12th – 20th of May 2019

71st Locarno Film Festival
1st – 11th of August 2018

56th New York Film Festival
28th of September – 14th of October 2018

54th Chicago International Film Festival
10th – 21st of October 2018

Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur
6th – 11th of November 2018

Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente de La Plata
4th – 11th of August 2018

Kasseler Dokumentar- und Videofest
13th – 18th of November 2018

Tenerife Shorts
29th of Novmeber – 2nd December 2018

Open House
Finalists of the Karl Schmidt-Rottlu
2nd of June 2018

Mess With Your Values
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein n.b.k.
3rd of March – 29th of April 2018

Galerie La Box – ENSA Bourges
15th of January – 21st of April 2018

Transposition / Aktarım
Sinopale International Sinop Biennial
1st of August – 17th of September 2017

Tampere Film Festival
8th – 12th of March 2017
International Competition

DOK International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
German Competition
30th of October – 5th of November 2017



CURRO (2023) explores the ritualized taming of wild horses according to the Galician custom Rapas das Bestas, raising questions about the social construction of masculinity, dependence and alienation from nature through the act of “taming” in interspecies relationships. In the context of this form of domestication, in which the wild horses are herded out of the mountains into the valley to be sheared and marked by the “aloitadores” (gal. for fighters), the supposed assumption of responsibility for the animal contrasts with the forlornness and disorientation of the human protagonists as they wait in the wilderness; they seem to be, or feel, out of place, alienated from the natural landscape that surrounds them. The reciprocal dynamic of this sometimes violent encounter between human and animal in the arena (the so-called “curro”) is brought to a halt in unexpected positions of intimacy in the eponymous film.

Installation view: Curro, Between Bridges, Berlin, 2023

Installation view: Curro, Between Bridges, Berlin, 2023

Installation view: Curro, Between Bridges, Berlin, 2023

Installation view: Curro, Between Bridges, Berlin, 2023


2022/ 20min.

A group of men is fixing their eyes onto the sky. High above, a swarm of pigeons is moving in an unrecognizable formation, when suddenly individual birds drop in mid-air, spinning backwards with their wings extended and tumbling down in a circular motion before resuming their ordinary flight path. Yalda Afsah’s short film SSRC slowly dissects this aerial choreography, revealing its nature as a form of animal training and gradually zooming into the at times almost intimate details of this interspecies relationship. Focusing on the specific social context of the Los Angeles-based „Secret Society Roller Club“ and its members’ identification with and through the animals, Afsah’s film negotiates positions of co-dependency and care, domestication and dominance – calling into question the ambivalence reflected in the symbol of the soaring bird free in its flight, yet simultaneously bound to human will.

Installation view Every word was once an animal, 2022, Kunstverein München

Installation view Every word was once an animal, 2022, Kunstverein München

Installation view Every word was once an animal, 2022, Kunstverein München

Installation view Every word was once an animal, 2022, Kunstverein München

Installation view Every word was once an animal, 2022, Halle für Kunst Steiermark, Graz

Installation view Every word was once an animal, 2022, Halle für Kunst Steiermark, Graz


2020/ 13min.

An activity shaped by the physical relation between human and animal, the classical dressage of horses as portrayed in Yalda Afsah’s short film Centaur reveals an ambivalence between care and control, physical strength and broken will. Paired with recurring shots of historical paintings adorning the riding hall, Afsah’s intimate observations – abstractions of fur and flexing muscles in conjunction with a rhythmic layer of sound – evoke a sense of artificiality eerily similar to the aesthetic discipline of dressage itself, which seems to raise the controversial question whose nature is cultivated by whom.

Installation view Manifesta13 Marseille 2020

Installation view Manifesta13 Marseille 2020

Installation view: Every word was once an animal, Kunstverein München, 2022

Installation view: Every word was once an animal, Kunstverein München, 2022


2019, 10min.

Named after its setting, the French river Vidourle, Yalda Afsah’s film documents a strange and subtly unnerving choreography, capturing a group of young men performing what could be a ritual, a spectacle, a game, or a fight. In their collective movements as well as individual moments of concentration, anticipation and occasional forlornness, the adrenalin-fuelled adolescent protagonists seem to embody the frailty of the human condition awaiting an environmental change, much like an unexpectedly forceful current in a river.


2018, 14min.

The short movie Tourneur documents a bull fight in Southern France and subtly comments on the disparity between the young, adrenaline rushed participants and the physically superior animal, cornered by the adolescent men. The unpredictability of the situation is increased by foam flooding into the makeshift arena, which equally affects the participants’ and the audience’s view. In the opaque foam mass, the encounter between human and animal turns into a surreal and archaic performative act – as if it has slipped away from reality, it becomes its own abstraction.

Installation view: Every word was once an animal, Kunstverein München, 2022

Installation view: Every word was once an animal, Kunstverein München, 2022

Installation view: Every word was once an animal, Kunstverein München, 2022

Installation view: Every word was once an animal, Kunstverein München, 2022


2015/ 30min.

Farahnaz is 13 years old and was raised as a “Bacha Posh” in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. According to this cultural practice, kids considered as girls are dressed as boys from their birth or a young age, and raised in this social “function”. Farahnaz consciously lives with the freedoms and duties of a boy in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions – from playing football to doing the groceries for the sister who is a single parent. The documentary film BOY tells Farahnaz’ story and parallely follows a 24-year-old Afghan in London who looks back on her childhood, similarly determined by this tradition. 

A film by Yalda Afsah and Ginan Seidl

Bacha Posh

2016/ 30min.

The two-channel installation Bacha Posh is a multifaceted documentary focusing on the Afghan tradition of dressing girls as boys in order for them to be able to fulfil the function of a male family member. Framed by atmospheric shots of urban landscapes in Mazar-e-Sharif, Bacha Posh follows the life of 13-year-old Farahnaz, adding unexpected perspectives to the discourse around the social construction of gender. Presented on two screens, the work contrasts the private and the public, interior and exterior spheres.

In collaboration with Ginan Seidl


2012/ 8min.

A temporary object in a public space. A building in Istanbul, provisionally covered with plastic tarp during construction works. The viewer’s gaze is directed by the movement of the wind occasionally lifting the plastic veil. In Yalda Afsah’s short film Kabatas, the framing becomes both a formal aesthetic element and a narrative strategy, as the fluid facade is shot without giving any sense of dimension or proportion. As in her other works from this series (Kabatas / Fillmore / Atlanten, 2012-13), fleeting insights into the inner workings of the building superimpose spaces of the private and the public, of intimacy and spectacle, of reality and fiction. 


2013/ 8min.

Shot in San Francisco, Fillmore is a continuation of Yalda Afsah’s close observations of urban spaces. Covered by a white “canvas”, the portrayed building merges into the flat plane of the background, as electricity cables and traffic systems transform the foreground into a landscape of abstract lines. The sequence of images starts off with a close-up of the covered building, eventually transitioning into a long shot to establish the spatial relationship. Part of a series of three works (Kabatas / Fillmore / Atlanten, 2012-13), the short film offers only but glimpses into the pulsating interior of the clearly framed cityscape it observes.


2013/ 6min.

Two parts of a viaduct breach out of a corner building otherwise entirely concealed by scaffoldings and white plastic sheeting. Left uncovered, the two arches reveal their contrasting architectural styles, breaking the pattern of the scaffolded facade’s abstract geometry. Set in Berlin, the scene is introduced with a pan shot. Afsah’s use of montage brings about a comparison between the old and the new, introducing an almost theatrical stage between past and present. Slowly closing in on detail, Atlanten performs a careful deconstruction of an urban landscape, much like Afsah’s other works from this series of short films (Kabatas / Fillmore / Atlanten, 2012-13) do.



Yalda Afsah explores how space can be cinematically constructed and the documentary character of her works often veers towards forms of theatricality. This formal characteristic of Afsah’s practice is conceptually mirrored in her documentary portraits of human-animal relationships that reveal an ambivalence between care and control, physical strength and broken will, instinct and manipulation. Afsah seeks to question and to dissolve these dichotomies, while carving out a space to reflect on the possibility of an overarching empathy between species.