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XIV Eleusis
Artists’ Exchange

Sako Dersahagian

Fashion designer
Socio-ecological challenges: safeguarding our seas and shores.

This project strand offers short residency opportunities in partner cities for 30 emerging artists. Each UEO city partner will send two artists on a residency to another partner’s city of a different art form, thereby seeking to enrich their professional practice through inter-disciplinary residencies. Artists are chosen on the basis of having demonstrated an interest in the hosting city’s Arts & Society contemporary European theme. They must also practice a different art form from that of the hosting city’s public event. The project offers the emerging artists the opportunity to travel without the pressure to produce work and ideally to experience UEO’s public events.

Sako Dersahagian will travel to Eleusis

Copenhagen’s other artist Birk Thomassen will travel to Lugo

Artists’ Statement

Fashion transcends the boundaries between the art world and the design world, enabling it to serve as a potent medium for conveying individual and collective identity through textiles and garments. Recognising its versatility, I have embraced fashion as a powerful tool for self-expression in my creative pursuits, aiming to foster a sense of cultural connectedness within communities. In my artistic journey, I harness the inherent power of fashion to communicate narratives and evoke emotions. Through my work, I strive to encapsulate the essence of diverse cultures, celebrating their rich heritage and profound stories. By meticulously crafting textiles and garments, I am able to weave together threads of tradition, modernity, and personal experiences. In this artist exchange programme, I aim to foster collaborative artistic synergy and engage in meaningful discussions on the crucial topic of ecological sustainability in the captivating realm of the Mediterranean Sea and its interconnected communities. By immersing myself in this experience, I hope to deepen my understanding of our role as stewards of the environment and the delicate balance of the ecosystem. 

Artists’ Biography

Born and raised in Lebanon and currently operating in Copenhagen, Sako Dersahagian works with the search for a shared cultural identity. Their work is explored through the trauma experienced by the young Middle Eastern diaspora forced to flee from their homeland and having to redefine themselves in a new social context that is not always understood. Dersahagian’s work is a powerful statement on the power of the queer Arab perspective, the importance of emotional connectivity and giving a voice to a minority often misunderstood or overlooked. It is about embracing your past in order to forge a new future and giving yourself permission to claim a space for your authentic self.