Riga self-portraits


These images are the results of chance public encounters during a series of walks in Bolderaja, a largely Russian-speaking area of Riga which was industrialised and militarised during the soviet occupation.


Over three days in late November 2013, members of the public were requested to remotely photograph themselves and momentarily act out their everyday realities whilst continuing the situations in which they were encountered.


Set against new and yet to be completed housing developments, industrial estates, local businesses and suburban landscapes, these self-portraits act as vignettes, highlighting the roles the individuals play and the pleasures they experience in the public realm.

02 03 04 05 06 07 08 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

The Riga Self-portraits were made in the context of the international community art project 'Contemporary Self-Portraits'. During this two-year project (September 2012–August 2014), self-portrait workshops were held in various European regions: Finland (Turku), Estonia (Tallinn), Ireland (Dublin), Latvia (Riga) and Sweden (Umeå).

The aim was to give local inhabitants a voice in expressing their personal and collective identity, as well as to encourage the development and sharing of communal art methodology and community development through arts.

The results were presented at exhibitions in each partner country and at a Final Symposium in Umea in 2014.


Bahbak Hashemi-NezhadBahbak Hashemi-Nezhad (England, 1979). He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008 and founded a cross-disciplinary practice that has produced work ranging from product design, domestic and public spaces, photography, to food, games and public interventions. His practice is concerned with exploring the role of photography within design research, and with developing new design methodologies that actively engage individual users. bh-n.com