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Elham Rahmati (b. 1989, Tehran) is a visual artist and curator based in Helsinki. She is the co-founder and co-editor of NO NIIN. In 2019 and 2020, she worked as the curator and producer of the Academy of Moving People & Images (AMPI), a film school in Helsinki for mobile people.

To Run Deep Down Somewhere is a playlist I put together with 40 of my all-time favourite love songs. I made the playlist in 2019. I had turned 30 that year, so naturally, I was going through this unnecessary dramatic emotional phase where I imagined myself as the cynical heroine of a 60’s French New Wave film.

An independent, subversive, spontaneous and romantic woman shrouded in an aura of mystery who gets her male counterparts into trouble. Call it a defence mechanism in coping with the crushing pressures of being excessively exerted at a demanding job and being bored to death in my personal life.

Anyway, while going through that phase, I made myself this playlist to complement the image of the woman described above. To keep the playlist coherent with the amusing lives of such women, I held a narrative in mind while putting the songs in order. You start with longing for someone you don’t even know but you are certain they are coming along, as Kajol does at the beginning of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge1 (I’m going to use this film for reference a lot, at least until I make sure anyone who reads my ramblings has watched it. I mean who needs Anna Karina when you have Kajol). Then you meet them and fall madly in love, love at first one-night stand. This is an exciting stage so it lasts for a while (from Holding a Monument to Senza un Perché), meanwhile, you get to know one another, discover each others’ quirks and eccentricities and adoring them because of it, cute, right? Well, it’s nice while it lasts but then we move on to the next stage where a conflict inevitably arises. It could be physical distance or having grown emotionally apart, could be a third party, could be jealousy or murder, could be that like David Bowie and Ryuichi Sakamoto in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence2 you are two men falling for one another, one being a British prisoner of war in World War II and the other a Japanese honour-bound captain who runs the prison camp. As you can imagine, their story like most of my other imaginary romantic scenarios does not end happily ever after; it ends with the haunting image of Capt. Yanoi cutting a lock of Jack Celliers’s golden hair and bowing to him while he is buried in the sand up to his neck and left to die. And this is where my playlist ends. I warned you, it was a dramatic year!

PS: Each playlist I have is a timestamp to a certain time in my life. Creating playlists, sharing them and writing or talking about them is something I find a lot of joy in. So share your playlists with us at NO NIIN, write something about them, anything, we will be happy to publish them.