Samira Sefi         
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan


Curator Samira Sefi belongs to the gen-Y and already has several groups and solo exhibitions’ curation in her portfolio. Another brainchild of Samira is the art bureau Barza, which helps to promote contemporary Azerbaijani art within the country and abroad. The young curator has many more projects planned and she is full of enthusiasm.
Long before Samira started doing her own exhibitions, she often visited the Baku Museum of Modern Art and could not imagine that the artist would collaborate with this museum as a curator. The artist's first exhibition here opened in 2014 and was called Nuda Veritas (“The Naked Truth”). Studying the collection of the museum, Sefi noticed that among the presented works of the Soviet period there is a lot of nudity. It always seemed to her that the ideal Soviet woman was a female worker who, along with a man, participated in the construction of communism. Samira was surprised to find that at the same time there was a strong patriarchal tradition in which the woman appeared to be quite sexual. The curator wanted to reflect on this topic on the example of the works of Ashraf Murad, Huseyn Hagverdi, Rasim Babayev, Sabina Shikhlinskaya, and other Azerbaijani artists.
She has always wanted to create something herself. In 2010, Samira began to professionally engage in photography and entered the school of famous master Sanan Aleskerov. There were exhibitions, her works were sold, but… today, she thinks, photography is not so exciting anymore. It would be interesting for her to make a video - to shoot a series of short works close to the Instagram stories format in order to combine them and mount them into a video or film.
When Samira was a photographer, she met the artist Sabina Shikhlinskaya - her work was presented at one of the exhibitions organized by Sabina. She invited Sefi to take part in the workshop "Curatorial and mediator practices in contemporary art", which was held in 2013 in Baku as part of the educational program of the YARAT organization. Sabina inspired and guided her, it was from her that Samira learned what qualities a curator needs, she learned how to work with space.
Sefi is most actively involved in the Barza Art Bureau, which she founded in 2018. The word "barza" in Azerbaijani means a bag in marsupials. The project is an information bureau for emerging artists and designers; it is like a “pocket” with a variety of tools to support emerging creative people and promote artists and art initiatives. They help them to organize exhibitions and sell works and offer design and rebranding services.


“The Naked Truth”, 2014

Artists are Altay Sadikhzada, Ashraf Murad, Cavad Mircavadov, Eldar Gurban, Huseyn Hagverdi, Kamal Ahmed, Mirnadir Zeynalov, Rasim Babayev, Sabina Shikhlinskaya

E·phem·er·a GROUP EXHIBITION, 2015
Museum of Modern Art, Baku, Azerbaijan

Artists are: Eliyar Alimirzayev, Rasim Babayev, Kamal Ahmad, Zakir Huseynov, Ujal Hagverdiyev, Yelena Hagverdiyeva, Niyaz Najafov and Altay Sadikhzadeh.