Hoda Afshar (IR/AU)


19 February 2021 - 07 March 2021
Image: Hoda Afshar, [Agonistes (still)] 2020, 1-channel digital video, colour, sound. Courtesy and © the artist and
Milani Gallery, Brisbane.

Image: Hoda Afshar, Agonistes (still) 2020, 1-channel digital video, colour, sound. Courtesy and © the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane.


19 February 2021 - 07 March 2021




St Paul's Cathedral (outdoor) [i]
Cnr Flinders St/Swanston St, Melbourne
24 hrs
Missing Persons [i]
Room 11/12, Level 4, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Wed – Sat, 12 – 5pm


Wheelchair access

Due to lockdown restrictions delaying installation of this exhibition, Agonistes will now open on 19 February

In her PHOTO 2021 commission Agonistes, Tehran-born, Melbourne-based visual artist Hoda Afshar explores the experiences of people who have spoken out. Combining new and old photographic techniques, Afshar creates images that reflect the experiences of whistleblowers who have voiced harms and misconducts being perpetrated in Australian institutions today.

Acts of whistleblowing aimed at calling attention to alleged wrongdoing or misconduct continue to make headlines around the world. But despite the introduction of policies meant to protect them, the efforts of whistleblowers in Australia are increasingly being undermined by gag orders, policing, and other forms of control–efforts to silence those who have spoken out, and to discourage anyone who might think to.

Whether whistleblowing on matters to do with the military, intelligence services, immigration detention, youth detention, or aged and disability care, Afshar’s subjects have spoken out for those whose voices were never meant to be heard.

The accompanying film can be viewed at Missing Persons Wed – Sat, 12 – 5pm. Screenings every half hour. Advance booking recommended.

Commissioned by Photo Australia for PHOTO 2021

Supported by the City of Melbourne, Mark Henry, and the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria

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PHOTO Channel

Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March