Samira Elagoz (1989, Helsinki) is a Finnish/Egyptian artist and filmmaker currently based in Amsterdam/Berlin. He graduated as a choreography BA from the Amsterdam University of the Arts in 2016.
For the past 6 years, Elagoz dedicated his artistic practice to researching and filming cis-men and first encounters with male strangers as a female artist. Elagoz toured the world nonstop for five years, pre and post #metoo, with his performance Cock, Cock, Who’s There? which dealt with sexual violence. On a quest to find intimacy after touring so many years, Sam realises that the show started as a genuine ode to being a woman, but revealed itself to be a farewell to being one. Now he identifies as a transmasculine with a high femme past.
He has toured with his works in various international film, visual art and performance contexts, such as IDFA, Impulstanz, CPH:DOX, Kaaitheater, The White Chapel Gallery, The EYE museum, Edinburgh Fringe and La Casa Encendida.
In 2014 Elagoz won the visual art competition Blooom Award in Cologne with his first short “Four Kings”. His documentary-performance Cock, Cock.. Who’s There? won the prestigious Prix Jardin d’Europe competition at Impulstanz 2017. And at Edinburgh Fringe it won the Total Theatre Awards for Emerging talent. It was also nominated for the BNG Bank Nieuwe Theatermakersprijs, competition for most promising young theatre maker in Holland. The German magazine Tanz titled him as one of the most promising talents of 2017.
His first feature film Craigslist Allstars had its premiere in 2016 at IDFA, world’s biggest festival for documentary, and was named by the press a festival favorite. It was nominated in the main competition for best international films at CPH:DOX 2017. It won the “Spirit Of CUFF” prize in 2017 at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. In 2017 he made a gallery work called The Young & The Willing about kissing boys and it was screened for example in the reputable White Chapel Gallery in London.
Elagoz’s work is very personal and at the same time close to important social and political debates of our times (sexual violence, male gaze, loneliness in digital age). The most indicative parts of his filmings are that he doesn’t use actors or performers, and that all subjects in his works are men. It bored him to see art history littered with the classical set up of male gaze, where woman is the passive object/muse of male artists, and so he decided to become a female artist portraying men (that was years before he started transitioning, life happens…). For the past few years he’s been building an extensive collection of first encounters arranged through various online platforms like Craigslist, Tinder and Chatroulette. It quickly became a research on the, often laughable, gender roles. Educated in performative arts, he incorporates aspects of this medium with that of video and film, creating her own unique brand of “docu-fiction”.
In 2021, after covid-hibernation Elagoz finished a new work SEEK BROMANCE, that will have its premiere at IDFA in November 2021. The work is a transmasculine romance situated at the end of the world, almost a 4h epic saga. It has been collaborated with Cade Moga <3
Samira spent formative years in a village called Karkkila in Finland. Surrounded by forest, fields and little stimuli, she constantly tried to pervert her mind into divining interest. After escaping in her teens, she braved the world with an endlessly curious and devil may care attitude.
Artistic expression was a mainstay, and she decided on the simple dream of being a dancer. After studying for a year she could not help but find it unfulfilling to be someone else’s tool. Thus she quit and started to study choreography at the SNDO.
Initial expressions were dark, mysterious and cinematic performances. When she started making film she wanted to do the opposite. Documentary, done in a raw and exposed way, in order to create real and tangible connections to her subjects. It all started by accident. A vocation she whimsically decided to pursue after having seen a cool guy at a bar, who she felt needed to be filmed.