Anna Knappe & Amir Jan: Sham Marriage at Gallery Myymälä2

Anna Knappe & Amir Jan: Sham Marriage

1.6. – 24.6.2018
OPENING / VERNISSAGE 31.5.2018 6pm

Sham marriage usually refers to marriages in which the intent of the marriage is not to live together or to start a family but to circumvent the immigration regulations. The law does not define sham marriages — all formal marriage contracts are legally valid, and the authenticity of the relationship is defined by others than the marriage partners.

The video work Sham Marriage looks at multicultural relationships through the artists’ own relationship. Sham Marriage consists of two videos: the first video exploring representations of love through wedding images and the so-called authenticity of relationships through questions posed by the Immigration Service and our families, and the second discusses cultural prejudices from the point of view of Finnish and Afghan culture.

Our relationship is often interpreted through the conservative culture of Islam and Afghanistan, and some people in our circle of friends and families have been concerned about, for example, whether Amir accepts the principle of gender equality and women’s sexual rights or whether he is using the relationship to obtain a residence permit. Amir’s Afghan relatives and friends have also expressed their concern that Amir will be forced to abandon his own culture when marrying a Finnish woman. Prejudiced Finns think that Anna is with Amir because she can not get a better spouse or because she thinks Amir is exotic. Many Afghans believe that Finnish women are promiscuous and can never meet the expectations held for Afghan wives.

The exhibition is supported by the Arts Promotion Center Finland