The Whole World Over: Refugee Art Making & Making Home in the West Village

Join us on November 17, 2022 at 7:00pm to take part in HB Resident Artist, Kayhan Irani’s work in development with Refugee Artists.

THE WHOLE WORLD OVER is a conversation between Refugee Artists and with the refugee history of HB. The artists will discuss leaving home, making work, and finding new ways to start again and make art again. This conversation comes to HB from the artists at Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI).

Featuring Kayhan Irani, Alejandro De La Guerra, Achiro Patricia Olwoch, and Zanya Andrade Fitz.

at HB Playwright’s Theater (124 Bank Street, New York)


Kayhan Irani is an Emmy-award winning writer, a performer, a cultural activist, and a Theater of the Oppressed trainer. She creates storytelling spaces to build community, offer healing, and to re-connect participants to their innate creative power. She works internationally and in the U.S. with community organizations, social service providers, educational providers, and government agencies to expand what’s possible when we deepen our relationships through story.

She is the daughter of an Irani father, whose parents fled marginalization in Yazd, Iran for Mumbai, India and a Parsi mother, whose ancestors were refugees from Yazd, Iran to Hindustan in the 10th century. She was born in Mumbai and raised in New York City where her love of storytelling was fed by the rich and varied forms of cultural expression she encountered in her neighborhood and in the city. She has one son.

Kayhan is currently building There is a Portal, an immersive digital experience and embodied pedagogy that explores how we can create networks of belonging, through gesture and story, even when we feel most broken.

Alejandro De La Guerra is a multidisciplinary artist who works on the aestheticization of power, collective memory, and monumental languages of public spaces. He uses performance, large-scale works, sculptures, embroideries and relational art, and conceives his art as a single multi-layered project driven by an exploration of violence and healing, art-activism and, relations of power on human relationships.

A graduate from the Nicaraguan School of Fine Arts, De La Guerra was part of the first art generation of Space for Artistic Research and Reflection (EspIRA). He is a co-founding member of the cultural zone temporary autonomy for Nicaragua and Central America Malagana-Mácula, and has participated in three Central American biennials, residencies at the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation; the Artist Protection Fund with the support of SFA and El Instituto of UCONN; URRA in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Câmera Sete Casa da Fotografia de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and RAPACES in Central America.

Represented by Beverly’s (NY) and Grace Exhibition Space (NY), his work has been exhibited internationally in venues including Museum of Zapopan and Chopo Museum, México City; Infinito Gallery, Buenos Aires; Vermelho Gallery, Sao Paolo; T20 in Spain, Fuso in Portugal, Regina Rex, P.A.D. and the PINTA fair in New York; the Contemporary Art Gallery of UCONN in Storrs CT; The Anderson in Richmond, Virginia; Continental drift Arab, Romania; Real Academia de España, Rome; Sies+ Hoke Contemporary art gallery, Düsseldorf; TEOR/éTICA, Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, Costa Rica; Codice gallery and Museum Ortiz Gurdian, Nicaragua. His work is in the collection of the Ortiz Gurdian Foundation.

De La Guerra is a 2022-2023 New York City Artist Safe Haven Residency Program awardee.

My name is Achiro Patricia Olwoch and I hail from Gulu, in Northern Uganda. I am a queer female artist in exile currently living in New York. I am an award-winning writer, director and producer after winning numerous awards and nominations for ‘Coffee Shop’ TV series as creator and writer and ‘Yat Madit’ as head writer, and for my short films: ‘The Surrogate’, ‘The Mineral Basket’, and ‘Maraya Ni’. I am in the process of completing my late father’s manuscripts, which he left behind after his death. This alongside my first novel ‘Sex or Slave’, set in 1940s Uganda during colonialism. I also have in two memours in the works; one ‘They are who I was’, about my life as a lesbian in Uganda and my eventual escape and the second one, ‘The Girl from Koro Abili’, about about my journey being born in exile, living through the war in Northern Uganda through to my present life in exile. More recently, I have been published by Guernica magazine, Exposition Review, Westbeth online newsletter, and Pen America. My play ‘The Survival’ recently had a debut performance at Lincoln Center produced by the National Queer Theatre. I have recently graduated with certificates in screenwriting, TV writing and Film and TV Producing from the prestigious New York Film Academy. I volunteer as the African Representative on the Women Playwrights International Management committee as well as the Artistic Collective of the National Queer Theatre in New York. I live to write and write to live and if I was not a writer, I would have most likely been a chef. I love cooking and creating in the kitchen as much as I do on the keyboard.

Zanya Andrade Fitz serves as AFI’s Programs and Operations Coordinator, implementing mechanisms of strategy, research, and support for AFI’s programs and operations. She has dedicated her academic, professional and personal life to representing immigrant stories in the exercise of mobility, language justice, and human rights.

Ms. Andrade Fitz’ approach to engagement and experience as a translator and volunteer, is driven by the advocacy of immigrant communities in the recognition of tenants rights, labor rights, and access to social services. As a storyteller, her body of work is centered around questioning the complexities of identity formation and belonging through the exercise of mobility.

Prior to joining AFI, Ms. Andrade Fitz received a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in Immigration Studies, Legal Studies, & Theater from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI) is led by immigration and human rights attorneys, Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI) facilitates pro bono immigration representation and resettlement assistance for international artists at risk.

Dedicated to safeguarding the right to artistic freedom, AFI was founded on the notion that artists are uniquely situated to positively and powerfully effect change, provided their voices can be heard. As artists are increasingly censored, imprisoned, restricted from moving freely across borders, tortured, or even killed, it is more critical than ever that we safeguard the right to artistic freedom and zealously champion the courageous artists who exercise it.

To this end, AFI directly assists artists who have experienced persecution, censorship, or other restrictions on their freedom of expression, and supports artists who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing progressive social change and fundamental human rights.

We work with immigrant artists to champion art produced in exile, advance creative cultural exchange, improve conditions for artists in their home countries, and safeguard their ability to express themselves creatively through the arts.

COVID Policy: Proof of the vaccination is required to attend this event. Masks must be worn at all times during the event. Read our full COVID safety Protocols here.



HB programs are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, public funds from the New York City Development of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and many generous supporters.


  • Time:
    November 17, 2022
    7:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET
  • Location: HB Playwrights Theatre, 124 Bank Street, New York, NY 10014