Sara Shamsavari x J Maiki

The Dandy Lion Project

This film is a documentation of Shantrelle P Lewis' Dandy Lion Project in the form of a unique Portrait Session by contributing artist Sara Shamsavari as part of The African Street Style Festival. The portrait session is a part of is an exploration and celebration of young Black men in city-landscapes across the globe, who defy stereotypical and monolithic understandings of masculinity. Juxtaposed against an urban backdrop where the clothing of choice for many black men consists of a pair of sagging pants, exposed boxers, jerseys and white tees – the “hip hop” generation has produced another phenomenon of style – the New Age dandy. The Dandy Lion Project will exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) from April through to July 2015.


London Veil

This film features the voices of participants of Sara Shamsavari's International Veil Series and forme part of the exhibition London Veil/ Paris Veil/ NYC Veil which debuted at Southbanks WOW- Women of the World festival and continued as a full exhibition at Royal Festival Hall.


In Nero - Black girls in Rome

In Nero: Black Girls in Rome is a portraiture project and film based on Dr. Tamara Pizzoli's forthcoming web series by the same name. The film and portraiture project features the work of artist Sara Shamsavari and is the third collaboration between Shamsavari and director James Maiki.

In Nero is a documentation and celebration of Black women in Rome, who have been ever-present since before Cleopatra sailed down the Tiber river bearing jewels, incense and reigning with her presence alone. They are here now thriving, working, creating and building and yet their presence and contributions may not always be seen, acknowledged, welcomed or truly understood. This film shares the voices and perspectives of some of these phenomenal women first hand.

Dastaar: Fitting In and Standing Out

A Project by Sara Shamsavari
Film by: James Maiki for Crane.tv

Dastaar: Fitting In and Standing Out exists to highlight this generation of male and female Sikhs as individuals who contribute to the richness of British society. They exemplify the idea becoming part of society whilst remaining visibly Sikh as they wear turban. Yet their style reflects Sikh culture, British culture and an array of popular cultural influences. The project aims to emphasise how much deeper, multilayered and complex identity is in a cosmopolitan city like London where cultures influence each other and like previous projects is inspired by the idea of transforming prejudice and misunderstanding in to something new and beautiful.

© James Maiki