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Art House

12/15/2012Passport | A Gulf, a Strait, and a Sea

Passport | A Gulf, a Strait, and a Sea

Images of Bandar-e Abbas, Chah Bahar, Hormuz, and Qeshm. Riccardo Zipoli was born in Prato, Italy, in 1952. He teaches Persian Language and Literature and Conceiving and Producing Photography at...

11/27/2012Society | A King Alone

Society | A King Alone

[ Bīstoon ] The painting is titled The Hall of Mirrors. It was painted in Iran in 1896. The man sitting on the chair, in the lower third of the...

11/21/2012 Arts | Poetry in Translation: History and Romance in the Verse of H. E. Sayeh

Arts | Poetry in Translation: History and Romance in the Verse of H. E. Sayeh

A seasoned traveler on the road to love's door. [ poetry ] A poem in translation is a linguistic-cultural unit uprooted from its land of origin and replanted in...

11/17/2012Video | '10 Centimeters Too High': A Clerical Take on Sex Ed

Video | '10 Centimeters Too High': A Clerical Take on Sex Ed

"Do you want your man to say sweet things to you?" [ close-up ] Family planning is out in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and procreation is officially in. Perhaps...

11/09/2012Spotlight | Kiomars Moradi on 'The Skyless City' and What the Media Misses

Spotlight | Kiomars Moradi on 'The Skyless City' and What the Media Misses

"These women have stories that you do not hear about in the media." [ interview ] Iranian director Kiomars Moradi has completed rehearsals for The Skyless City, written by...

11/01/2012Bta'arof | Not(e) from the Orient on the Repackaging & Reselling of Persian Pop

Bta'arof | Not(e) from the Orient on the Repackaging & Reselling of Persian Pop

The heterogeneous nature of the pre-1979 Iranian groove is often obscured by Western bids to cash in. [ music ] Back in 2008, I received a text message from...

10/26/2012Music | Irish Punk Rockers Take on Iran

Music | Irish Punk Rockers Take on Iran

[ spotlight ] The Dublin-based Hassle Merchants' new music video, "Let's Start a War," is for those ready for some hardcore politics in their rock. In just under three...

10/24/2012Music | An End to Tehran's Symphony Orchestra?

Music | An End to Tehran's Symphony Orchestra?

[ news ] Financial problems may force the Tehran Symphony Orchestra to disband, according to Iran's semiofficial Mehr News Agency. Quoting an anonymous musician, Mehr reports that member contracts, which...

10/22/2012Q&A | 'I've Only Been To The Cinema Once'

Q&A | 'I've Only Been To The Cinema Once'

He may defer to the Supreme Leader on all matters of taste, except maybe Bollywood... [ interview ] You would think that a member of the Iranian parliament's cultural...

10/20/2012Video | Beautiful Iran

Video | Beautiful Iran

[ video ] H/T to Max Fisher, foreign policy blogger at the Washington Post, for featuring this charming video in his post today. Shot by Chicago filmmaker Cyrus Dowlatshahi,...

10/19/2012Books | An Iranian Metamorphosis

Books | An Iranian Metamorphosis

[ spotlight ] Warscapes, an online magazine, features a conversation with Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani; an introduction is excerpted below. His graphic novel, Une Métamorphose Iranienne (An Iranian Metamorphosis), was...

10/13/2012Event | The Conference of the Birds

Event | The Conference of the Birds

[ spotlight ] Like many Iranian Americans, I grew up in a house full of Persian poetry. From Rumi, to Hafez, to Saadi, every inch of our house was always...

09/29/2012Lifestyle | Drinking Coffee in Tehran

Lifestyle | Drinking Coffee in Tehran

The social and political life of the Iranian café. [ dispatch ] Coffeehouses in Iran are often designed and situated -- on narrow streets, for example -- to maintain a...

09/20/2012Lifestyle | The Beauty Regime

Lifestyle | The Beauty Regime

[ essay ] When I first started living in Iran, I was a kind of an illiterate, exotic creature who had to learn the alphabet from scratch and could...

09/05/2012Cinema | 'Paternal House': A Challenge to the Government

Cinema | 'Paternal House': A Challenge to the Government

A quiet director's powerful family drama causes distress in high places. [ dispatch ] Paternal House (Khaneh Pedari) is not the first Iranian film to be shown in a European...

08/28/2012Q&A | Jahanshah Javid: From Iranian.com to Iroon.com

Q&A | Jahanshah Javid: From Iranian.com to Iroon.com

"The vast majority of the population inside and outside Iran are becoming more and more frustrated. And what we see online is a reflection of that." [ interview ] After...

08/17/2012Sports | Carving Snow, Breaking the Ice: 'Boarders without Borders'

Sports | Carving Snow, Breaking the Ice: 'Boarders without Borders'

Forthcoming documentary to track U.S. snowboarders on Iranian slopes. [ film ] In the 30 years since the fall of the Shah, we have seen many attempts at "cultural...

08/09/2012Cinema | 'Zendegi-ye Khosoosi': The 'Private Life' of an Iranian Reformist

Cinema | 'Zendegi-ye Khosoosi': The 'Private Life' of an Iranian Reformist

A tale of a fatal attraction bears a host of ideological implications. Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi is a doctoral student in modern Middle East studies at Queens College, University of Oxford.[...

07/29/2012Cinema | Five Great Iranian Films

Cinema | Five Great Iranian Films

[ film ] When A Separation became the first Iranian film to win an Academy Award, more people gained awareness of the country's rich film legacy. Hamid Naficy, a leading...

07/22/2012The Arts | War in the Iranian Theater

The Arts | War in the Iranian Theater

A terrified stupor in the realm of the absurd. [ society ] Three years have passed since the last presidential election and its violent aftermath. Three years are nothing. But...

07/11/2012Poetry | 'Ancient Eve': The Ghazals of Simin Behbahani

Poetry | 'Ancient Eve': The Ghazals of Simin Behbahani

The ageless voice of the revolutionary "lady of ghazal." [ poetry ] Simin Behbahani's poems paint one of the most nuanced narratives of modern Iranian society. Her poems offer...

06/29/2012Art | Manou Marzban: Whimsical Cool

Art | Manou Marzban: Whimsical Cool

At play in a painter's mental universe. [ spotlight ] On a beautiful sun-splashed Sunday in May, I went to visit Manou Marzban at his studio-villa in a fishing village...

06/11/2012Behind the Curtain | Iranian Graphic Designer Wins Prestigious Award

Behind the Curtain | Iranian Graphic Designer Wins Prestigious Award

"Hamzad (Twin)," by Mehdi Mahdian: solo and in exhibition. Arash Karami is a frequent Tehran Bureau contributor. Negar Mortazavi is an Iranian journalist based in Washington, D.C. [ blog...

06/09/2012Audio | Kadri on Sharia Law, Its History, and Its Place in the Modern World

Audio | Kadri on Sharia Law, Its History, and Its Place in the Modern World

"Human-rights-compatible interpretations of the sharia are not only possible, but desirable." [ books ] Sharia law has been at the forefront of considerable controversy in the West of late --...

06/08/2012Q&A | Artist or 'Apostate': Talking with Musician Shahin Najafi

Q&A | Artist or 'Apostate': Talking with Musician Shahin Najafi

"Being an artist in Iran is like running barefoot on sharp nails." [ interview ] After two grand ayatollahs declared him an apostate for a song that supposedly insults...

06/06/2012Slideshow | Nurieh Mozaffari's 'Unforgettable' Women of Iran

Slideshow | Nurieh Mozaffari's 'Unforgettable' Women of Iran

They stone the licentious, ignorant that the city teems with intellectual whores; knowing not that perverse minds devastate more greatly than perverse flesh. --Forough Farrokhzad [ spotlight ] "As...

06/02/2012Art | Painted Politics: The Mural in Modern Iran

Art | Painted Politics: The Mural in Modern Iran

Striking contrasts between outdated official styles, an urban milieu reflecting different values, and a new, less politicized generation of paintings. Bahamin Azadi is a pen name for an independent researcher...

05/22/2012Culture | A Book Fair with Vast Crowds and Some Official Moral Panic

Culture | A Book Fair with Vast Crowds and Some Official Moral Panic

Six million reported visitors, several banned publishers, and one scandalized minister. [ culture ] Tehranis just said goodbye, till next year, to one of the city's most popular cultural events...

05/17/2012Obituary | Parviz Shahriari, Mathematician and Activist, Dies at 85

Obituary | Parviz Shahriari, Mathematician and Activist, Dies at 85

A major figure in Iranian education, jailed under the Shah and the Islamic Republic alike. [ obituary ] Parviz Shahriari, mathematician, educator, translator, journalist, and political activist, passed away on...

05/13/2012Poetry | One Tongue, No Tongue: 'Return' and Afghan-Iranian Dialogue

Poetry | One Tongue, No Tongue: 'Return' and Afghan-Iranian Dialogue

Merrier to speak / in one heart than in one tongue --Rumi [ poetry ] San Diego, California. "Hey, Afghani!" an Iranian student scoffs at his Afghan classmate. The term,...

05/05/2012Cuisine | A Persian Staple with a Twist

Cuisine | A Persian Staple with a Twist

Embracing the cauliflower. [ life+style ] In college, at the end of my occasional weekend visits, my father would send me back to the dorm with a warm kuku sabzi,...

04/26/2012Cuisine | Too Much Is Never Enough: Making Ghelye Mahi

Cuisine | Too Much Is Never Enough: Making Ghelye Mahi

Redefining "leftovers," "hot," and "cold," and more lessons from the Iranian kitchen. [ life+style ] Every time we had people over for dinner, my husband would say to me, "Tori,...

04/22/2012Society | Howl in Farsi

Society | Howl in Farsi

Houman Harouni has written for Iranian Studies, Connect, and Harvard Educational Review, among other publications. His "Bīstoon Chronicles" appear regularly on Tehran Bureau. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. [ Bīstoon...

04/18/2012Q&A | Mohammad-Reza Shajarian

Q&A | Mohammad-Reza Shajarian

The maestro kicks off his U.S. tour in Boston on April 19. Click here for more dates. Reprinted with permission of Duke University. [ interview ] The Iranian singer and...

04/11/2012Behind the Curtain | Controversial End to Iran Soccer Match

Behind the Curtain | Controversial End to Iran Soccer Match

Arash Karami is a frequent Tehran Bureau contributor. Negar Mortazavi is an Iranian journalist based in Washington, D.C. This is the second entry in their new blog, "Behind the...

04/04/2012Behind the Curtain | Two Popular Movies Pulled from Screens after Protests

Behind the Curtain | Two Popular Movies Pulled from Screens after Protests

Ansar-e Hezbollah protesters outside of the Ministry of Culture building. Arash Karami is a frequent Tehran Bureau contributor. Negar Mortazavi is an Iranian journalist based in Washington, D.C. This...

03/28/2012Poetry | Daughters of Afghanistan: Literary Voices of Change

Poetry | Daughters of Afghanistan: Literary Voices of Change

Every one calls you to his own / I call you only to yourself --Rumi [ region ] Classical Persian verse constantly evokes Afghanistan and its glorious history. Poets...

03/09/2012Obituary | Simin Daneshvar, 'Queen of Persian Prose,' Dies at 90

Obituary | Simin Daneshvar, 'Queen of Persian Prose,' Dies at 90

Her 1969 novel, "Suvashun," is one of the most important works in modern Persian culture. [ obituary ] Simin Daneshvar, an iconic figure in contemporary Persian literature, passed away on...

02/28/2012Video | Referendum on the Islamic Republic

Video | Referendum on the Islamic Republic

'This was my idea too.' [ blog ] On April 1, 1979, a referendum was held asking Iranians to vote "Yes" or "No" on establishing an "Islamic Republic," a...

02/27/2012Cinema | 'A Separation' Wins Oscar in First for Iranian Film

Cinema | 'A Separation' Wins Oscar in First for Iranian Film

[ blog ] A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin), written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, won Iranian cinema's first Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards...

02/02/2012Spotlight | Before the Revolution

Spotlight | Before the Revolution

[ video ] In this short ski clip, you get not only a glimpse of Iran shortly before the revolution, but what looks like the revolutionaries themselves, in Azadi...

01/20/2012Society | A King Alone

Society | A King Alone

[ Bīstoon ] The painting is titled The Hall of Mirrors. It was painted in Iran in 1896. The man sitting on the chair, in the lower third of the...

01/17/2012Books | Exploring the Mysteries of the Mykonos Killings

Books | Exploring the Mysteries of the Mykonos Killings

Assassins of the Turquoise Palace by Roya Hakakian (Grove Press) [ books ] During the first two decades of its existence, the Islamic Republic killed thousands of individuals, both inside...

01/16/2012Cinema | 'A Separation' Wins Golden Globe

Cinema | 'A Separation' Wins Golden Globe

[ blog ] It's a long, treacherous road from the censors of Tehran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to Hollywood, where director Asghar Farhadi shook hands with actress...

01/16/2012Food | Three Great Places

Food | Three Great Places

[ blog ] Qatar Airways' in-flight magazine highlights three culinary destinations in Tehran: Gilac, Monsoon, Éclair: There is a wealth of flavours in the streets of Tehran, from bakeries...

01/12/2012Q&A | Head to Head with Abdi Behravanfar, Khorasan Blues Pioneer

Q&A | Head to Head with Abdi Behravanfar, Khorasan Blues Pioneer

On the importance of always changing, and never backing down. [ interview ] Abdi Behravanfar was born in 1975 in Mashhad, Khorasan, in northeastern Iran. By most standards, he...

01/06/2012Spotlight | 'The Iran Job': He Got Game, Shiraz-Style

Spotlight | 'The Iran Job': He Got Game, Shiraz-Style

Documentary on American basketball player in Iran nears completion. [ film ] Seconds remain to the final whistle. As the tall, dark American player stands ready to take the...

01/05/2012Video | After the Revolution

Video | After the Revolution

[ blog ] This documentary by Kianoush Ayari captures some great scenes from the summer after the 1979 revolution. The title, Tazeh Nafasha -- fresh breath, literally -- describes...

01/04/2012Snapshot | 'Nafti'

Snapshot | 'Nafti'

[ blog ] It was 1973. My father's work necessitated moving from Tehran to Rasht, Gilan for a couple of years. So we lived there for a while. This...

12/29/2011Cinema | 2 Saffron Candies and the Big Kallak: Rethinking 'A Separation'

Cinema | 2 Saffron Candies and the Big Kallak: Rethinking 'A Separation'

[ critique ] "A Separation," director Asghar Farhadi's fifth feature, debuted in Iran in March to great critical acclaim and commercial success. It was hailed almost universally within the Iranian...

12/25/2011Cinema | Iran Onscreen: Truth through the Prism

Cinema | Iran Onscreen: Truth through the Prism

[ essay ] Can a movie tell a story set in contemporary Iran without being seen as a "portrait of Iranian society"? In re A Separation's Oscar dreams, should the...

12/21/2011Blog | Modern Shemshak

Blog | Modern Shemshak

[ design ] "Cheap, uncrowded and with a wealth of epic terrain," the Shemshak Ski Resort may not have changed by some accounts since it opened in 1958. The...

12/08/2011Spotlight | 'One Arrives and One Departs': The Poetry of Bijan Jalali

Spotlight | 'One Arrives and One Departs': The Poetry of Bijan Jalali

Elegance in concision, eloquence in simplicity. [ spotlight ] Bijan Jalali was born in 1928 in Tehran, where he received his elementary and secondary education. For several years he...

12/04/2011Q&A | Poet, Activist Remembers Life in Iran Pre-Revolution

Q&A | Poet, Activist Remembers Life in Iran Pre-Revolution

"At that time, nobody paid attention to what girls did when they got together." [ lifestyle ] Saghi Ghahraman is an Iranian lesbian poet and gay rights activist who lives...

11/28/2011Blog | Manoto TV

Blog | Manoto TV

[ spotlight ] Manoto (Me & You), part of the London-based Marjan TV network, is a Persian-language variety entertainment channel launched in October 2010 and targeted primarily at young...

11/21/2011The Calendar | Iranian Arts and Events

The Calendar | Iranian Arts and Events

Bahram Beizai's "Safar (The Journey)," at UCLA's Broad Hall. A table setting for Yalda, celebrated early at Leighton House Museum. (Homepage: "Scarlet Stone.") PERFORMING ARTS Renowned director Bahram Beizai...

11/16/2011Spotlight | London Iranian Film Festival

Spotlight | London Iranian Film Festival

[ spotlight ] The 2d London Iranian Film Festival opens this Friday, November 18, and runs through Saturday, November 26, when prizes will be awarded in four categories: feature...

11/13/2011Blog | All Iran Everything

Blog | All Iran Everything

[ diaspora ] The literary magazine Guernica has put together its first Iranian-American issue, guest edited by author Porochista Khakpour. "I wish that no one had the concept Iranian-American--which...

11/04/2011Blog | Iranians at the Istanbul Biennial

Blog | Iranians at the Istanbul Biennial

[ spotlight ] Inspired by Cuban American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996), the 12th Istanbul Biennial explores the rich relationship between art and politics. The exhibit features installations by Iranians...

11/02/2011Spotlight | 'The Teller of Tales': Nobility Is Not in the Title, But the Deed

Spotlight | 'The Teller of Tales': Nobility Is Not in the Title, But the Deed

In the name of the Lord of soul and of wisdom; Whose throne sits higher than thought can reach [ spotlight ] The Shahnameh, written in the tenth century...

11/01/2011Blog | Propaganda Art

Blog | Propaganda Art

[ art ] An excerpt from Elizabeth Rauh's Graphics of Revolution and War: Iranian Poster Arts for the University of Michigan. Demonization is a means of differentiating oneself from...

10/30/2011Blog | Restaurant Design in Tehran

Blog | Restaurant Design in Tehran

[ design ] Ator Restaurant in Tehran, Iran, designed by Expose Architecture, and as written up here via the Contemporist website. Now here is a something fancy from Iran....

10/27/2011Blog | 'High Fidelity'

Blog | 'High Fidelity'

[ music ] The UAE-based Brownbook magazine has a feature by Jason Rezaian on an Iranian classical music label, Tehran's Beethoven Music Centre, which most recently set up shop...

10/18/2011Cinema | 'This Is Not a Film': The Camera Stays ON

Cinema | 'This Is Not a Film': The Camera Stays ON

Plus thoughts on "Once Upon a Time In Anatolia" and the unbearable heaviness of being "Chekhovian." [ cinema ] Jafar Panahi's most recent screenplay -- the last he will be...

10/12/2011The End of THE History, the Beginning of Histories: 'Sohrab's Wars'

The End of THE History, the Beginning of Histories: 'Sohrab's Wars'

The power of the individual voice. [ spotlight ] Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami, professor of Middle Eastern studies at New York University, is an expert on contemporary Persian fiction. Sohrab's Wars:...

10/08/2011Weekend Spotlight: Hamed Nikpay

Weekend Spotlight: Hamed Nikpay

[ Q&A ] Hamed Nikpay has made a musical career out of interpreting the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi. "He describes the most complicated questions about the universe, humanity, love,...

10/05/2011Cinema | 'A Separation': At Sea in the City of Ten Million Tears

Cinema | 'A Separation': At Sea in the City of Ten Million Tears

From a realm where black-or-white is the rule, a film that dazzles with myriad shades of gray. [ cinema ] After a recent New York Film Festival screening of A...

09/26/2011Region | The Writing on the Wall

Region | The Writing on the Wall

step gently a nation is dreaming... [ poetry ] The construction of the Israeli barrier that isolates the West Bank from the outside world began almost a decade ago. It...

09/21/2011The Iranian Diaspora Comes of Age

The Iranian Diaspora Comes of Age

"I am American and Iranian." [ spotlight ] Over three decades after their mass migration began from their ancestral homeland, Iranian Americans have achieved success in their new home in...

09/15/2011Iran Arts and Events Calendar

Iran Arts and Events Calendar

Mehrdad Khoshbakht's "The Sound of My Foot," at the Auburn International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults. Farhad Ahrarnia's "Mitra, Red Lights" at Rose Issa Projects. (Homepage: Hypernova.)...

09/13/2011Video | 'The Flamingos Return to Rezaiyeh'

Video | 'The Flamingos Return to Rezaiyeh'

[ spotlight ] Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom featured Lake Orumieh in this 1975 episode, "The Flamingos Return to Rezaiyeh": Flamingos nesting at Lake Rezaiyeh in northern Iran are...

09/10/2011Video | Sex Education in the Islamic Republic

Video | Sex Education in the Islamic Republic

Ershad-sanctioned guide to good sex: the best perfume, joking around, movement. [ spotlight ] This recently issued instruction video, with explicit references to relations between the sexes and tips...

09/05/2011Video | In Memory of Freddie Mercury

Video | In Memory of Freddie Mercury

'That's something inbred, it's a part of me. I will always walk around like a Persian popinjay.' [ spotlight ] Queen frontman Freddie Mercury -- or "Farrokh" -- would...

09/02/2011Iran Arts and Events Calendar

Iran Arts and Events Calendar

Monica Maggioni's "Out of Tehran," at the Venice International Film Festival. "Here Comes the Sunrise" (2009) by Ramin Haerizadeh, ABC Art Berlin Contemporary participant. (Homepage: "Poulet aux prunes.") PERFORMING ARTS...

09/01/2011Video: 'Go Home Arab'

Video: 'Go Home Arab'

[ spotlight ] The Iranian American comedian Maz Jobrani takes on racism -- racism from others for being Iranian, and in himself as an Iranian. also funny in english...

08/29/2011Video: Mohammad and the Matchmaker

Video: Mohammad and the Matchmaker

[ spotlight ] Arash Alaei, who along with his brother Kamiar, are pioneers in HIV/AIDS research and education in Iran, was among the prisoners recently released. Kamira Alaei quietly...

08/23/2011'These Basijis in Me': Roger Sedarat's 'Ghazal Games'

'These Basijis in Me': Roger Sedarat's 'Ghazal Games'

In hybridity, you'll find me in the Hyphen: Iranian (-) American. [ spotlight ] Roger Sedarat's poems reflect his mixed identities as an Iranian American. Using the formal characteristics of...

08/22/2011Reza Badiyi: Prolific TV Director, Dies at 81

Reza Badiyi: Prolific TV Director, Dies at 81

Born in a small town, raised in the conservative Iranian society of the 1930s and 1940s, he went on to make his mark in one of the most competitive industries...

08/21/2011Iran Arts and Events Calendar

Iran Arts and Events Calendar

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES "Retrospectives are best done when the photographer is dead...or so I thought until the National Museum of Singapore suggested I have one," the celebrated Iranian photographer...

08/05/2011Jameel 2011: Islamic Traditions of Craft and Design

Jameel 2011: Islamic Traditions of Craft and Design

500 Pages and Two scroll booksArtist: Hadieh Shafie Life LineArtist: Noor Ali Chagani Fashion WeekArtist: Soody Sharifi Migrant 8Artist: Hayv Kahram The Invisible MastersArtist: Rachid Koraichi Farmanfarmaian Birds of...

07/30/2011Rebel Rock: From Tehran to the World

Rebel Rock: From Tehran to the World

'You know when you go out of your mind dancing, they think it's a Satanic thing.' [ feature ] In Shahrak-e Gharb, an Iranian man waters his flowers, shuffling from...

07/29/2011Iran Arts Calendar

Iran Arts Calendar

Lily Afshar, coming to the Beverly Hills International Music Festival. "Word for Word" (2007), by Amirali Ghasemi, "TVDinner" cocurator and artist. (Homepage: "Kick in Iran" at the Noor Film Festival.)...

07/21/2011Too Spicy for TV

Too Spicy for TV

[ spotlight ] The creators of SpicyJihad.com probably didn't need the many taboos of the Islamic Republic to be broken before taking on its officials and -- more controversially...

07/19/2011Iran Arts Calendar

Iran Arts Calendar

Siavash Ghomayshi and Shadmehr Aghili, coming to the Greek Theatre. Shoja Azari and Shahram Karimi's "Autumn" at Tripoli Gallery. PERFORMING ARTS Singer-songwriters Siavash Ghomayshi and Shadmehr Aghili will be appearing...

07/11/2011Dressing Up to Move Up

Dressing Up to Move Up

Manipulating appearances -- the pressure to dress for success is felt far beyond the professional realm. [ vitrine ] It was in a salon in the heart of a bustling...

07/09/2011Once Upon a Time in Iran: 1979

Once Upon a Time in Iran: 1979

Picturing the Past [ spotlight ] The 1979 Iranian Revolution continues to inspire headlines, controversy -- and art. Two very different artists take up the subject by focusing on...

07/04/2011Spotlight: Kamin Mohammadi

Spotlight: Kamin Mohammadi

[ memoir ] "Kamin's father courted her mother with a Mohammadi rose each day; a slow, elegant, romantic ritual combining his name, his land, and his love," writes Justine...

07/03/2011Video | Nasser-al-Din Shah & His 84 Wives

Video | Nasser-al-Din Shah & His 84 Wives

[ spotlight ] A film by Beate Petersen In 1842 the 11 year-old heir to the Persian throne, Nasseredin Mirza, received a photographic camera from Queen Victoria of England....

06/22/2011'A Wolf Lying in Wait': The Poetry of Abbas Kiarostami

'A Wolf Lying in Wait': The Poetry of Abbas Kiarostami

There's more than one way to cut a diamond. [ spotlight ] Classical Persian poetry is characterized by its creative and highly cultivated language as well as strict regularities of...

06/18/2011Iranian TV Ads (1969-1978)

Iranian TV Ads (1969-1978)

For a selection of print ads, click here....

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06/10/2011Ambassadors of Life: Poetry of Afghan Women

Ambassadors of Life: Poetry of Afghan Women

True liberation comes from within. [ spotlight ] The shocking image of Nazia, an 18-year-old Afghan woman whose nose and ears were sliced off by her husband, appeared on the...

06/03/2011Her Life as a Persian Ballerina

Her Life as a Persian Ballerina

Longing for freedom of expression, in more ways than one. [ dispatch ] After a four-hour drive out of the city and three shots of something strong, Newsha finally feels...

05/29/2011From NY's 'Die Walküre' to Tehran's 'Antigone': Survival within Death

From NY's 'Die Walküre' to Tehran's 'Antigone': Survival within Death

Hailing the army of the fallen. [ theater ] In the last week of April, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi spoke at Columbia University's School of International and...

05/24/2011Best Music Writing 2011 | The Underground Rises

Best Music Writing 2011 | The Underground Rises

"The Underground Rises," by Morad Mansouri, originally published by Tehran Bureau last October 1, has been selected for inclusion in Best Music Writing 2011. The anthology, to be published in...

05/24/2011Reading 'Lolita.' Forgetting Tehran.

Reading 'Lolita.' Forgetting Tehran.

[ profiles ] In the commodities exchange of American letters, Lila Azam Zanganeh is an easy buy: She's got that appealing balance of Near Eastern extraction, European education and...

05/23/2011'This Is Not a Film' and Jafar Panahi Is Not a Director

'This Is Not a Film' and Jafar Panahi Is Not a Director

[ spotlight ] "We have a saying in Iran," says Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, "that when hairdressers get bored they cut each others' hair. That is what we were doing: filming...

05/21/2011Tehran Book Fair Dogged by Restrictions

Tehran Book Fair Dogged by Restrictions

[ spotlight ] Despite strict censorship and bans imposed before and even after new books come out, Iran's publishing industry continues to survive, if not exactly thrive. More than...

05/17/2011Cinema | 'Flowers of Evil': Love and Violence in the Kaleidoscope

Cinema | 'Flowers of Evil': Love and Violence in the Kaleidoscope

[ review ] New Yorkers recently celebrated the tenth Tribeca Film Festival. Established in 2001, soon after the attacks of September 11, the festival promotes New York as a...

05/14/2011Persian Poetry Today: A Short History of Sher-e Sepid

Persian Poetry Today: A Short History of Sher-e Sepid

Every aspect of our literature is in need of change; neither new subjects nor elaborating on an exhausted concept and expressing it differently will suffice. It's not enough to...

05/11/2011Iran Arts Calendar

Iran Arts Calendar

Bahram Radan and Golshifteh Farahani in Dariush Mehrjui's "Santuri" at the Festival of Music in Middle Eastern Cinema. Shadi Ghadirian's "Miss Butterfly" at Silk Road Gallery. PERFORMING ARTS The Festival...

04/30/2011Region | 'Many Shining Heads': A Journey through Libya and the Past

Region | 'Many Shining Heads': A Journey through Libya and the Past

[ passport ] "It's four o'clock," said the large woman, jamming her body in the doorway. Mohammed negotiated with her in Arabic, then translated. "It's 3:55!" I replied. She...

04/29/2011Holy Matrimony! It's the Big Shootout

Holy Matrimony! It's the Big Shootout

Savoring those precious memories of the wedding...or the wedding video? (Photos by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI) [ trends ] "Hey you, yeah you photographing, you should know better," shouts the director,...

04/27/2011Iran Under Cover: The Dressing Question

Iran Under Cover: The Dressing Question

What to wear? [ passport ] A popular Arabic proverb goes, "If someone was to say that there is a wedding ceremony in the clouds, then the women would soon...

04/23/2011Will the Sons Kill the Father?

Will the Sons Kill the Father?

Thoughts about generational conflict in Iranian drama. [ comment ] A few days ago, the City Theater of Paris featured a dance/theater production choreographed and directed by the Flemish artist...

04/22/2011Iran Arts Calendar

Iran Arts Calendar

Mohammad Rasoulof's "The White Meadows" at the 360 | 365 George Eastman House Film Festival. Parastou Forouhar's "The Swanrider" at the Beirut Exhibition Center. PERFORMING ARTS The feature-length documentary Pearls...

04/19/2011Video | Kiosk: 'Hey Man, Pull Over'

Video | Kiosk: 'Hey Man, Pull Over'

Kiosk's new video, "Agha! Nigah Dar" ("Hey Man, Pull Over"), was released today. Directed by Mostafa Heravi, it features footage from the band's recent European tour. Arash Karami interviewed...

04/18/2011Bijan Pakzad, Beverly Hills Designer of Luxury Menswear, Dies

Bijan Pakzad, Beverly Hills Designer of Luxury Menswear, Dies

[ wire services ] Iranian-American fashion designer Bijan Pakzad, who made clothes for countless celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and politics, has died at the age of 67...

04/14/2011Cinema | 'If You Die, I'll Kill You': Exile and Absurdity

Cinema | 'If You Die, I'll Kill You': Exile and Absurdity

Golshifteh Farahani's new movie -- in more ways than one. [ review ] In 2007, when she accepted a part in the film Body of Lies, directed by Ridley...

04/10/2011Theater: HamletIRAN

Theater: HamletIRAN

Possibly the first production of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" to be set in modern Iran. [ review ] In one of the first scenes in Shakespeare's Hamlet, the troubled prince recalls...

04/07/2011That Sensual Sufi Beat: Paris Goes Ecstatic for Exotic ... Again

That Sensual Sufi Beat: Paris Goes Ecstatic for Exotic ... Again

A first-hand encounter with the persistence of Orientalism. [ review ] Last month, in celebration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, the Pouya Musical Ensemble performed at Paris's Théâtre...

04/04/2011Cinema | 'Certified Copy': Talk, Reflect, Reflect, Talk

Cinema | 'Certified Copy': Talk, Reflect, Reflect, Talk

Abbas Kiarostami on men, women, and other big words. [ cinema ] "There is nothing but reflection that I could intend to offer the viewer of the film." So says...

03/29/2011Skypedance

Skypedance

Technology helps convey what Iranian dancers are not allowed to express. [ dance ] "Don't stick your bottom out and don't swing your hips that much!" instructs the woman on...

03/22/2011Theater | 'Ka': Dying for the Master

Theater | 'Ka': Dying for the Master

Iranian one-act making U.S. debut delivers harshest of metaphoric messages. [ theater ] Ka is a short play about eternity -- which is to say, death. Most works of narrative...

03/17/2011Iran Fashion Sense and Nonsense

Iran Fashion Sense and Nonsense

[ vitrine ] For Iranian women, forced to live under the inflexible laws of the Islamic Republic, fashion and beauty are serious concerns whose pursuit has consequences that can range...

03/11/2011The Persian Rite of Spring: The Voice of Niloufar Talebi

The Persian Rite of Spring: The Voice of Niloufar Talebi

[ spotlight ] This March 20, the first day of spring, families across the United States will celebrate a special type of New Year. They will be joined by...

03/07/2011Video: March 8, 1979

Video: March 8, 1979

[ spotlight ] Some interesting footage of demonstrations in Tehran on March 8, 1979....

03/02/2011Electra's Wedding and the Glorification of Patriarchy

Electra's Wedding and the Glorification of Patriarchy

Symbolic matricide at the heart of a disturbing artistic vision. [ art ] In her new exhibition, In Praise of Father, which opened at Tehran's Mohsen Gallery on February 11,...

02/27/2011The Mother Tongue

The Mother Tongue

Learning the Language Video: An introduction to Persian by Ghazzal Dabiri, a lecturer and coordinator of Persian at Columbia University. Easy Persian | "I liked that the lessons are extremely...

6 Comments
02/21/2011Imagination Dead Imagine

Imagination Dead Imagine

A visiting Faust-Fantasy suggests flights of fancy often grounded in Iran. [ theater ] The 29th Fajr International Theater Festival concluded in Tehran on Sunday. Eighteen plays from Iran, Italy,...

02/20/2011Iranian Women and Wagner's Parsifal

Iranian Women and Wagner's Parsifal

Echoes of a 19th-century fable of compassion in the stories of 21st-century women. [ opera ] Arash is a Tehrani musician. He lives alone in a cold, empty three-story...

02/10/2011Henry Rollins Introduces Shirin Neshat to 'Les Hipsters'

Henry Rollins Introduces Shirin Neshat to 'Les Hipsters'

Famed eighties punk rocker Henry Rollins takes Iranian artist Shirin Neshat for a spin in the East Village. Source: avantcaire...

01/26/2011Silk Road, Silk Underwear: Westernized Oppositions of 'Postmodern' Iranian Art

Silk Road, Silk Underwear: Westernized Oppositions of 'Postmodern' Iranian Art

"Untitled" by Ahmad Morshedloo Saatchi exhibition suggests pandering to international preconceptions, clichés all too common. [ art ] Right after the 2009 Iranian presidential elections, as the 53d Venice...

01/26/2011Exhibit: Elizabeth Taylor in Iran

Exhibit: Elizabeth Taylor in Iran

[ photography ] One of Elizabeth Taylor's many foreign excursions will be the subject of a photography exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, scheduled to run Feb....

01/21/2011Cinema: The White Meadows

Cinema: The White Meadows

Films as beautiful as Mohammad Rasoulof's Keshtzarhaye Sepid (The White Meadows) are not common. This one has the power to enchant even unseen. As I stood in line at New...

1 Comment
01/19/2011The Perfect Water for Tea

The Perfect Water for Tea

[ personal history ] There were dead at the bazaar, at the Kashani Nassaji factory, and at the Shah Maydan. They had fallen to what would be the first bullets...

01/13/2011Spotlight: Boston's Iranian Film Festival

Spotlight: Boston's Iranian Film Festival

"The White Meadows,'' a film by Mohammad Rasoulof in collaboration with Jafar Panahi, tells the fable-like story of Rahmat, who collects tears as people unburden their sorrows into glass...

01/09/2011Photo Essay: Best Dressed Iranians 2010

Photo Essay: Best Dressed Iranians 2010

Iranians like to look good. And they'll endure a lot -- battles over hejab, the ubiquitous Basij, and nose jobs, which they wear like a badge of honor -- to...

24 Comments
01/09/2011Bringing Back Mosaddegh

Bringing Back Mosaddegh

Update November 25, 2011: The full app has just been released and is available free if downloaded in the next week. [ spotlight ] It has been nearly fifteen...

25 Comments
01/04/2011Watching Kiarostami Films at Home

Watching Kiarostami Films at Home

[ cinema ] To what extent does Abbas Kiarostami, Iran's best known and most celebrated filmmaker, still belong to Iran, and to what extent does he now belong to...

9 Comments
01/01/2011'And I Know': Metallica at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art

'And I Know': Metallica at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art

Finding hope in a tomb for masterpieces. [ art ] Dreams of Fall, a play by the Norwegian Jon Fosse, is set in a cemetery. A man and his former...

3 Comments
12/23/2010Fiction: In a Garden

Fiction: In a Garden

[ fiction ] I am in Tehran. I escaped Javad and the slipperiness of the seaside for the firmness of the mountains. Tehran boils over with blood and something approaching...

7 Comments
12/20/2010Satire: The Official IRI IQ Test for Foreigners

Satire: The Official IRI IQ Test for Foreigners

A cheat sheet for the uninitiated. [ satire ] The IQ test is a very useful tool, especially in Iran, because it helps determine your future path. With a low...

15 Comments
12/17/2010'The Persian Cry' and the Burden of Rebellion

'The Persian Cry' and the Burden of Rebellion

Artistic expression versus the need to inveigh against oppression. [ dance ] On October 23, the young Iranian dancer Afshin Ghaffarian celebrated the first anniversary of his freedom with...

6 Comments
12/09/2010Five Things You Need for an Emotional Meltdown

Five Things You Need for an Emotional Meltdown

[ fiction ] In Montreal, she sprained her ankle walking on high platform shoes, the summer night alive on St. Catherine's, crowds of tourists, punks stretched out on sidewalks begging...

5 Comments
12/03/2010Dancing with Othello in Iran

Dancing with Othello in Iran

[ theater ] In one of my previous Tehran Bureau essays on Verdi's Shakespearian opera Macbeth -- "Macbeth and the Marks of Violence" -- I drew a parallel between...

12/01/2010Iranian Artists Vie for Solo Saatchi Show

Iranian Artists Vie for Solo Saatchi Show

MOD ANGELArtist: Hojat Amani PICHAPOOCHArtist: Morteza Ahmadvand ERROR NO. 1Artist: Reza Azimian BEYOND THE SENSE OF BREAKING 1Artist: Parastoo Ahovan ME -01Artist: Shahrzad Changalvaee UNTITLEDArtist: Alireza Dayani UNTITLEDArtist: Hossein...

11/21/2010Communication Breakdown: Iranian Drama, Western Stage

Communication Breakdown: Iranian Drama, Western Stage

Parisian production of new Koohestani play compels, but is it comprehended? "Excuse me, but can't the director Westernize his stage work so that we understand it?" The question was expected....

4 Comments
11/05/2010Caligula in Tehran

Caligula in Tehran

The priceless power of catharsis. [ theater ] In defiance of all expectation, Tehran theater thrives. Small houses as well as the official Shahr Theater are drawing audiences with plays...

6 Comments
10/26/2010Photography: Down Persian Roads

Photography: Down Persian Roads

Talking with Riccardo Zipoli, distinguished Iranologist and photographer. My friendship with Riccardo Zipoli took place in the world of texts and computer screens, where his flexibility and friendliness came across...

3 Comments
10/12/2010Couchsurfing in Beqaa

Couchsurfing in Beqaa

[ passport ] Lebanon may seem like an unlikely place to recover from a semi-traumatizing run-in with the Basij, but I was certain it could be a great spot...

4 Comments
10/10/2010Voices in Exile: Three Poets

Voices in Exile: Three Poets

[ spotlight ] Mana Aghaee, Granaz Moussavi, and Maryam Hooleh are among the most accomplished representatives of the new generation of Iranian poets in exile. None participated in the 1979...

1 Comment
10/05/2010'A Death in Tehran' Wins Emmy

'A Death in Tehran' Wins Emmy

[ spotlight ] Frontline and Frontline World took home three of PBS's five Emmys. Frontline, which is produced at WGBH in Boston, won for continuing coverage of a news...

5 Comments
10/01/2010The Underground Rises

The Underground Rises

Music mirrors, magnifies popular resistance to state oppression. [ music ] For those engaged in the musical crafts in Iran, the very term "underground music" sparks controversy, for they realize...

09/24/2010Setting Things Right

Setting Things Right

Kiosk's Arash Sobhani discusses the band's forthcoming album. [ Q&A ] "The engineers have gone into the work of import and export," sings Arash Sobhani in "Hame Ragham Mojood...

3 Comments
09/21/2010Iranians Shift to Facebook for Art

Iranians Shift to Facebook for Art

[ dispatch ] The disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year not only sparked the worst street violence seen in Iran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, but also...

5 Comments
09/12/2010Exhibit: Artists Unite for Iranian Democracy

Exhibit: Artists Unite for Iranian Democracy

Steven Heller Discusses "Where Is My Vote?" from School of Visual Arts on Vimeo. [ spotlight ] Following the disputed elections in 2009, an Iranian photographer who goes by the...

2 Comments
09/05/2010Arts: Book Smart: The Bidoun Library Project

Arts: Book Smart: The Bidoun Library Project

Museum as Hub: The Bidoun Library Project New Museum, New York, through September 26 [ exhibit ] The shape of things to come? "The shape of the collection was...

09/02/2010Transcendent Thrash

Transcendent Thrash

[ passport ] I was told to make myself look as much like a man as possible to attend a male-only Sufi dervish ceremony on the outskirts of Sanandaj....

4 Comments
08/26/2010The Path to Hadi

The Path to Hadi

Kurdistan Part 2. [ passport ] A photojournalist in Tehran texted me the name of Hadi, a Kurdish man who helped him make a documentary about the Sufi dervishes...

10 Comments
08/26/2010Calling All Musicians...

Calling All Musicians...

[ spotlight ] ZirZamin, an alternative Iranian music magazine, will be hosting a contest called "Make Yourself Heard." Contestants from all over the world are invited to submit their work...

1 Comment
08/21/2010Cinema: The [Iranian] Neighbor

Cinema: The [Iranian] Neighbor

[ spotlight ] HAMSEYEH (THE NEIGHBOR) Canada - United States / 2010 / Colour / 104 min / Dir.: Naghmeh Shirkhan Cast: Azita Sahebjam, Tara Nazemi, Parisa Wahedi, Kamyar...

1 Comment
08/18/2010The Kurdish Steps

The Kurdish Steps

[ passport ] "I pray you do not get raped," a friend in north Tehran warned over voicemail after she heard I was headed to Kurdistan. The region is...

12 Comments
08/16/2010Verse of Defiance

Verse of Defiance

Shahin Najafi and the power of protest poetry. [ spotlight ] "A protest song is a song that's so specific that you cannot mistake it for bullshit," wrote Phil Ochs,...

2 Comments
08/12/2010Way Back Machine

Way Back Machine

In some rooms Hollein has added moulded wall and ceiling sections... [ art house ] Perhaps only a very few visitors now have the privilege of viewing the extensive Persian...

08/09/2010Appeals to Iran's Hunger Strikers

Appeals to Iran's Hunger Strikers

Translator's note: For the past two weeks, 17 political prisoners in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison have been on a hunger strike to protest constant abuse, solitary confinement, lack of phone...

1 Comment
08/04/2010Lessons of Bam

Lessons of Bam

[ passport ] In the early morning of December 26, 2003, a powerful earthquake, 6.6 on the Richter scale, hit just outside of Bam. I learned the news in...

5 Comments
07/29/2010A Tourist in Zahedan

A Tourist in Zahedan

[ passport ] If you tell your average Iranian that you want to go Zahedan, chances are they will think you need your head examined. Zahedan is normally associated...

6 Comments
07/27/2010Video: Take It Easy Hospital

Video: Take It Easy Hospital

[ spotlight ] Ash Koshanejad and Negar Shaghaghi, the twin songwriters of Take It Easy Hospital, rose to prominence in director Bahman Ghobadi's film, "No One Knows About Persian...

1 Comment
07/24/2010In This Blind Alley

In This Blind Alley

They smell your mouth Lest you've told someone 'I love you.' They smell your heart These are strange times, my dear Love, they drag out under lampposts to thrash....

6 Comments
07/21/2010Opera: Don Giovanni and the Dream of Freedom

Opera: Don Giovanni and the Dream of Freedom

Transgressive symbol of rebellion against patriarchy relevant as ever. Almost four centuries after the first appearance of the literary figure Don Giovanni, he is more alive than ever in...

1 Comment
07/16/2010Cinema: Iran: Voices of the Unheard

Cinema: Iran: Voices of the Unheard

"If I sit silently, I have sinned." With these words of Mohammad Mosaddegh's, presented as a small, solitary epigraph against an otherwise uniformly black screen, Iran: Voices of the...

3 Comments
07/07/2010Cooking Up a Dialogue

Cooking Up a Dialogue

Sandwich stand serves a meaty mission. Pittsburgh's Kubideh Kitchen is the latest in a long line of efforts to bridge the cultural divide between Iran and America. The first in...

5 Comments
06/19/2010Making Music in a New World

Making Music in a New World

Mohsen Namjoo and Abdi Behravanfar in concert in Yerevan, Armenia. 2007. Photo by bayamim via Flickr. U.S. now home to Mohsen Namjoo's innovative sounds, evocative lyrics. [ profile ]...

1 Comment
06/18/2010Cinema: Certified Copy

Cinema: Certified Copy

Abbas Kiarostami's latest movie, Copie Conforme (Certified Copy), featuring French actress Juliette Binoche and British opera singer William Shimell, is the director's first feature film to be shot in...

06/18/2010Performing Arts: A State of Love

Performing Arts: A State of Love

Photo: The Iranian cast of "A State of Love," Assad Opera House, Damascus. A State of Love, an enthralling Iranian interpretation of the classic Sufi story, debuted at the...

06/10/2010Books: Democracy in Modern Iran

Books: Democracy in Modern Iran

The first two chapters of Ali Mirsepassi's new work may have readers checking the cover, the spine, the title page to assure themselves they're in the right book. Democracy in...

06/02/2010Iran's Thriving Theater Scene

Iran's Thriving Theater Scene

Archive photo, February 2008, Street Theater at Iran Shahr by Mahyar via Flickr. A decade ago, Iranian cinema was bringing the world unexpectedly beautiful images of the country. Directors...

2 Comments
05/26/2010Nose Job

Nose Job

About the photographer - Fabio Bucciarelli is a photographer with LaPresse and collaborates with the independent Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper. Born in Turin, Italy, in 1980, Fabio studied at...

21 Comments
05/26/2010A crash course on Iranian Cinema

A crash course on Iranian Cinema

5 Comments
05/25/2010From Persian Cats to Yellow Dogs

From Persian Cats to Yellow Dogs

From Persian Cats to Yellow Dogs from Jehangir Irani on Vimeo. Golden Age from Jehangir Irani on Vimeo....

2 Comments
05/13/2010Art: Icons, Shoja Azari

Art: Icons, Shoja Azari

To find the Shah, start dead center. Shift the gaze a foot and a half to the left, now eight inches down. There he is, a small framed black-and-white...

3 Comments
05/11/2010Shorts: Forbidden Tree

Shorts: Forbidden Tree

[ spotlight ] Viewers have until May 17 to vote online for their favorite short film in the NFB Short Film Contest. The contest, presented by the National Film...

5 Comments
05/05/2010Women Without Men: A Conversation with Shirin Neshat

Women Without Men: A Conversation with Shirin Neshat

Visual artist Shirin Neshat tackles her first feature-length motion picture with "Women Without Men," currently making the rounds on the festival circuit and opening in New York on May...

3 Comments
04/28/2010In Memory of Zahra Kazemi

In Memory of Zahra Kazemi

[ spotlight ] Since its launch on Feb. 20, Zahra's Paradise, a graphic novel about the social and political situation in Iran, has grown to 45,000 readers in 125 countries...

3 Comments
04/22/2010Rap in the Capital: Hip-Hop Tehran-Style

Rap in the Capital: Hip-Hop Tehran-Style

My phone rang just as I stepped through the door of my Tehran apartment after a day spent wading through bureaucracy, trying to get my Iranian passport renewed. It was...

9 Comments
04/10/2010'Whatever You Want'

'Whatever You Want'

This past July in Tehran, I went to see Tehran Has No More Pomegranates at Azadi Cinema, which was excellent. As I walked out of the theater, I realized that...

3 Comments
04/10/2010Iranica revamped online

Iranica revamped online

Encyclopaedia Iranica has relaunched its website. New features include an improved search function, commenting and tagging capabilities, content sharing capabilities via e-mail and other networking sites. Background on the...

03/29/2010Ferdowsi's Shahkar

Ferdowsi's Shahkar

How does one begin an article about the greatest poet in Iranian history? One stumbles along, sadly, helplessly, pathetically, attempting to sound profound and insightful, giving the poet his due...

8 Comments
03/16/2010Conference of the Birds

Conference of the Birds

In my youth I envisioned beautiful magical birds and avidly frequented and lost myself in the woods and flower gardens of my childhood dwellings. I was entranced by fairy...

9 Comments
03/08/2010Early Feminist Cartoons

Early Feminist Cartoons

Cartoons depicting Iranian women from 1900 to 1917 On the way to the public bath: "You cannot trust women or horses." "Wow, look Karbalaie Hassan! A foreign woman!" Reprinted by...

4 Comments
03/07/2010'I'll Huff and I'll Puff'

'I'll Huff and I'll Puff'

Ramin Haerizadeh's exhibition "I'll Huff and I'll Puff" on Sunday March 14 in Dubai features new collages that stage an assault on the imagery he has grown up with...

1 Comment
03/06/2010Habitats

Habitats

Home and Album NYT | March 6, 2010 Mr. Yomtobian, 26, was born in Tehran to Jewish parents, the youngest of four children. In 1987, after years of tumult that...

1 Comment
03/03/2010The 50/50 Club: Author Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

The 50/50 Club: Author Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

[ Q & A ] Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is a member of what I like to call the 50/50 club, the offspring of one Iranian and one non-Iranian parent. When I...

4 Comments
02/24/2010Tehran Has No More Pomegranates

Tehran Has No More Pomegranates

[ film ] Anyone who has lived in Tehran knows how rapidly it morphs and expands. One can hardly keep track of the establishments opening or being shut down...

4 Comments
02/19/2010Blurring the lines

Blurring the lines

Zahra's Paradise, a graphic novel about the social and political situation in Iran, will be serialized online beginning at midnight. Initially, the serialization will reflect events in Iran's recent past,...

3 Comments
02/12/2010Zand Trails, Pt. 2

Zand Trails, Pt. 2

Sia Part 1 | At 11 p.m., I navigated a lumbering cart stuffed with suitcases through Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran. I'd exchanged $200, and was handed stacks of Rial...

3 Comments
02/10/2010The Writing on the Wall

The Writing on the Wall

As Tehran braces for a fresh bout of protests on 22 Bahman (February 11), the anniversary of the revolution, public spaces in the city have been peppered with graffiti promoting...

2 Comments
02/03/2010Scrapbook: 1978-79

Scrapbook: 1978-79

"Massive Peace March," "Unauthorized rallied banned," "Massive sit-ins," "Worst rioting in Tehran," "Opposition can have voice," "Soldier brothers don't kill brothers," "Only Democracy can save Iran," etc. Distinctly 1970s --...

5 Comments
01/28/2010They Did Not Hang My Son Today

They Did Not Hang My Son Today

They did not hang my son today But they killed hers. He was nineteen, they say. At dawn (Always at dawn) They took him and Put a noose around his...

18 Comments
01/24/2010Forget journalism...

Forget journalism...

[ trends ] Vogue-style fashion magazines have been cropping up in Tehran over the past two years, and particularly visible this year. Rouyesh (Growth) and Zendeghiyeh Edehaal (Ideal Lifestyle) are...

4 Comments
01/19/2010Urban Askance: One Day in Tehran

Urban Askance: One Day in Tehran

[ exhibit ] Through January 23, San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts provides a glimpse inside Tehran. One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran features work by Tehran's urban...

01/09/2010Nargess Hashemi: Wrap Me Up in You

Nargess Hashemi: Wrap Me Up in You

Nargess Hashemi reproduces scenes from her family's traditional gatherings over the past year. We see line drawings of engagement parties and weddings laid over kitsch wrapping paper and floral...

01/01/2010Looking Backward: 2009

Looking Backward: 2009

As a political cartoonist forced to leave the country in 2003 after receiving a death threat, I should probably hate the rulers in Iran. Though I am not a big...

13 Comments
12/22/2009The Zand Trail

The Zand Trail

[ passport ] I wondered what of my trip to Iran I'd remember; of course, I'd recorded much in my journal. But only so much can be recounted or recorded,...

7 Comments
12/17/2009Téhéran sans autorisation

Téhéran sans autorisation

More about Sepideh Farsi's film "Tehran without permission" (or accreditation) can be found on the The New York Time's Lede blog. An English translation of the lyrics to Hich-Kas's...

1 Comment
12/16/2009Going Underground

Going Underground

[ film ] Kurdish-Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi, known for making slow-moving, heart-rendering films along the western border of Kurdistan (A Time For Drunken Horses, Turtles Can Fly, Half Moon),...

5 Comments
12/13/2009The Force Strikes Back

The Force Strikes Back

[ snapshot ] A stunt pulled by Iran's state media to humiliate student leader Majid Tavakoli backfired -- big time. Tavakoli was arrested on Monday in Tehran after addressing...

7 Comments
12/09/2009Bassidji: Talking to the Other Side

Bassidji: Talking to the Other Side

An interview with director Mehran Tamadon. [ film ] A young boy sits on rusted tank tracks in the desert bordering Iran and Iraq. His head is bowed, and he's...

12 Comments
12/04/2009Rough Cut

Rough Cut

In this untitled, uncredited documentary, images of the post-election crisis play out against the official narrative put forth by state television, dictated at Friday prayers and by Iran's Supreme...

12 Comments
11/27/2009Open case: Kiarostami's film reemerges after 30 years

Open case: Kiarostami's film reemerges after 30 years

Ghazieh shekle aval shekle dovvom from Green Mind on Vimeo. [ film ] In the magnificent haste and enthusiasm of Iranians to share insight about the questionable presidential election in...

6 Comments
11/20/2009Fared Shafinury & Tehranosaurus

Fared Shafinury & Tehranosaurus

[ spotlight ] Much of the 'fusion music' pumped out by a new generation of bands in Iran -- Ohum, 127, and early Kiosk -- transitions from East to...

11 Comments
11/17/2009

"My Grade-School Friend"

[ art house ] Revolutionary anthems hardly come any more powerful than Yare Dabestani Man, or "My Grade-School Friend," Iran's resistance anthem par excellence. The revolution-era classic, whose stirring...

11 Comments
11/08/2009Ebrahim Nabavi: Letter to Hussein

Ebrahim Nabavi: Letter to Hussein

[ satire ] Author's note: Hussein is my cousin, who left Iran for America thirty years ago. I have not heard from him since; he's become an American. Any semblance...

7 Comments
11/02/2009Two films depict 1970s Iran

Two films depict 1970s Iran

Albert Lamorisse (1922-1970) Baadeh Sabah / The Lovers' Wind / Vent Des Amoureux [English language] [Farsi Version] Shot 1970, completed posthumously 1978, 35mm Title Unknown (Postscript to Baadeh Sabah)...

5 Comments
10/17/2009Political Hip-Hop

Political Hip-Hop

[ music ] Tehran's underground music scene is explored in a number of documentaries, including Amir Hamz's Sounds of Silence and Bahman Ghobadi's No One Knows About Persian Cats,...

8 Comments
10/14/2009Makhmalbaf opens up on Green Movement

Makhmalbaf opens up on Green Movement

Hana Makhmalbaf interviewed her father, prominent filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the Paris-based spokesman for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, about the future of the Green Movement and the prospect of a...

9 Comments
10/12/2009Slashing Red Tape on the Silver Screen

Slashing Red Tape on the Silver Screen

[ film ] Censorship is watertight in Iran, as scores of farhangis -- those involved in culture and the arts -- well know. A telling symptom of this all-prevailing malaise...

6 Comments
10/10/2009My Uncle's Wife

My Uncle's Wife

[ passport ] I spent my first couple of evenings in Iran two years ago watching TV news with my uncle's orange-haired wife at their house in a Karaj gated...

4 Comments
09/26/2009The Green Apple

The Green Apple

Arts and politics converge in New York. [ art house ] The Iranian Diaspora -- approximately 3 million worldwide -- turned out in larger numbers than seen since the...

2 Comments
09/15/2009Iranian Film Festival- San Francisco 9/19-20

Iranian Film Festival- San Francisco 9/19-20

When Saeed Shafa began making plans for the inaugural Tiburon International Film Festival, it was with the simple motto of encouraging local residents to "understand the world through film."...

09/06/2009From Madman to Ad Man

From Madman to Ad Man

Photos/William Levin @Jewish Robot Ahmadinejad Promotes Free Israel Trips for U.S. College Students By MARSHA B. COHEN | 6 Sept 2009 A program which offers college-age Jews free ten-day...

3 Comments
08/29/2009

Kayhan for Kids: shaping young hearts and minds

By GOLAB P. Kayhan Bacheha -- Kayhan for Kids -- is a weekly magazine for children published by the Kayhan Institute, the same publisher that prints the daily Kayhan...

7 Comments
08/18/2009

New Logos

[TEHRAN BUREAU] Blog Watch Blogger Gorizsabz has designed new logos for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and NAJA (the police forces). The caption says: "No copyright whatsoever and...

1 Comment
08/16/2009

The Coup against Mazdakite

Uprising in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh and Quest for Social Justice in today's Iran. By REZA AKHLAGHI in Toronto The influence of clergy over Iranian society is not limited to today's...

1 Comment
08/05/2009

Ahmadinejad is President

13 Comments
08/01/2009

The Art of Translation

Solmaz Shahbazi, Still from "Persepolis," 2005, Single Channel Video, 1 projection, 17 minutes. Courtesy of the Artist. Image from arteeast.org."Tarjama/Translation" at the Queens Museum of Art [TEHRAN BUREAU] In...

07/31/2009

40 Days Ago We Died

FORTY DAYS AGO WE DIED By Setareh Sabety Forty days ago we died Along with that mother Whose scream I still hear Not only in my ear But deeper...

11 Comments
07/30/2009

I Am Neda

I Am Neda Leave the Basiji bullet in my heart, fall to prayer in my blood, and hush, father -- I am not dead. More light than mass, I...

8 Comments
07/27/2009

Artful Resistance

Artful Resistance: A selection of post-election artwork By Saya Ovaisy in Tehran | 26 July 2009 Between midnight and dawn on June 13, a community of pro-Reformist voters held...

2 Comments
07/26/2009

'Keeping Up Appearances'

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07/13/2009

Picturing Ourselves: 1953, 1979 and 2009

A Conversation with Negar Mottahedeh By GOLBARG BASHI in New York | 12 July 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] The surge of stunning photos and videos from Iran over the past...

10 Comments
07/07/2009

The Arab Roaming the Streets of Tehran

In Memoriam: Ardeshir Mohassess (1938-2008) Cartoonist: Historian of our fears and frivolities By HAMID DABASHI in New York | 7 July 2009 It was in late February 2004. Quite tired...

28 Comments
07/02/2009

Revolution Redux: The Shah of Shahs

Revolution Redux: Looking back on Ryszard Kapuscinski's The Shah of Shahs By MATTHEW GHAZARIAN [TEHRAN BUREAU] It has become popular for analysts of the Middle East to make a...

28 Comments
06/28/2009

Iran Inside Out

Pooneh Maghazehe, Hell's Puerto Rico Performance Still, DigitalC-print 2008, copyright artist and courtesy Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery. By LEILA DARABI in New York | 28 June 2009 The line...

3 Comments
06/27/2009

Filmmaker Speaks Out

Bahman Farmanara: We cannot remain silent By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 27 June 2009 In a short open letter to the Iranian people, Bahman Farmanara, the distinguished...

19 Comments
06/24/2009

'The Viper of Kerman'

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Viper of Kerman', by Christian Oliver, Halban, ISBN 978-1-905559-12-1 Reviewed by Gareth Smyth [TEHRAN BUREAU] Anyone having difficulty assessing the veracity of reports from Iran --...

3 Comments
06/04/2009

Looped and Layered

Siamak Filizadeh, Bread, Cheese & Image, 2007 By LEILA DARABI in New York | 4 June 2009 [TEHRAN BUREAU] There are two kinds of Iranian art often exhibited in...

5 Comments
06/01/2009Suitcases

Suitcases

Suitcases Suitcases of dried limes, dried figs, pomegranate paste, parsley laid in the sun, burnt honey, sugar cubes hardened on a baking sheet. Suitcases of practical underwear, hand-washed, dried...

3 Comments
05/05/2009

Marking the 30th

[gallery link="file" columns="5" orderby="post_name"] The Islamic Republic, three decades later... February 2009 marked the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. Photojournalist Fabio Bucciarelli (see below) traveled there and documented a...

04/26/2009

Oh Persepolis

Iran's booming art scene By GOLNOUSH NIKNEJAD in Dubai [The National] Apr 30, 2008 Sandy Heller, a private curator from New York, gazes at The Wall (Oh Persepolis) by the...

02/16/2009

Iran Night on the Lower East Side

[Tehran Bureau ] spotlight KGB Non-Fiction Presents Iran Night February 17, 2009 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm 85 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003 Sohrab Mohebbi is the...

01/23/2009

The Art (and Politics) of Translation

Bookshop in Tehran. Photo/Faren Taghizadeh Read in Persian. Save our literature.By NILOUFAR TALEBI in New York In 2002, a poet friend of mine, Sally Lee Christian, was recruited by...

3 Comments
01/20/2009

Diaspora Marks 30th

By NILOUFAR TALEBI in San Francisco [Tehran Bureau] spotlight Years ago, an Iranian-American friend mockingly referred to me as a '79er. He was referring to my belonging to the...

01/05/2009

A Conversation with Kiarostami

Photos/Arsalan MohammadBy ARSALAN MOHAMMAD in Tehran You screened Shirin at the Venice Film Festival. Shirin is a very unusual way of making a film - just the faces. Venice...

1 Comment
12/02/2008

From Turkey with Love. But...

Dear Iran, we are scared of you. By AFSIN YURDAKUL in Istanbul It is not that we don't appreciate Kiarostami. Nor it is that we don't admire Rumi or...

5 Comments
12/01/2008

And the beat goes on

Photo/LGOIT.com A scroll through Lifegoesonintehran.com feels like a stroll through the capital. Thankfully the virtual tourist is spared the usual traps: the all too prevalent collection of Persian iconography...

2 Comments
11/13/2008

The Discreet Charm of the Underclass

By GOLNOUSH NIKNEJAD in Boston [Tehran Bureau] Despite the many obstacles of visas and security officials, renowned Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi made it to Boston in time for the...

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