The Empty Doorway

We chose not to be photographed. His broad smile was somewhat subdued, though the impishness of his chuckle still remained. The big hug didn?t work out. Even in the generous light through the large open window, a frail Kiarostami with tubes wasn?t how we wanted him depicted. He had cancer, and the surgery had gone wrong. My young friend Mansour Kiaei had accompanied me and had only met the great man for the first time. He wanted to photograph the two of us. We declined, saving the moment, for when Abbas would be better, and more the Abbas, as I had known him.

Abbas Kiarostami Untitled 1978 ? 2003, from a series of 32 photographs, 122 x 93 cm.
Abbas Kiarostami Untitled 1978 ? 2003, from a series of 32 photographs, 122 x 93 cm.

Continue reading “The Empty Doorway”

Open Call For Iranian and Bangladeshi Artists

Open Call For Iranian and Bangladeshi Artists
Exchange Program (Iran ? Bangladesh)
1-31 July, 2016 ? Tehran
7 January ? 7 February?, 2017?? Dhaka
Application Deadline
10 May, 2016
Pathshala?and Kooshk Residency present the first?round of?exchange program between Tehran and Dhaka?for two Bangladeshi?and two Iranian visual artists. This exchange program exists out of two parts. The first part is held from 1-31 July,?2016 in Tehran, Iran.
In?this residency, the Bangladeshi?artists have the opportunity to work in Tehran, Iran and collaborate with the Iranian artists. During this time, the space will be open to a local public of artists, students, and art critics. The program will end with a presentation and a panel discussion. Continue reading “Open Call For Iranian and Bangladeshi Artists”

STRANGER THAN FICTION: America?s ramped up nuclear capability: Prelude to another Cold War?

While people across the world for the last three years have been watching the unbelievable resurgence in state- and non-state-actor-sponsored violence and terror across the Arab World ? Libya, Egypt, Syria, Gaza, and of late, Iraq ? the Obama Administration?s recent decision to ramp up its nuclear capability has almost remained unnoticed to most analysts, let alone the common people. Even if, very similar to what happened during the Cold War, America?s ramped up nuclear capability does not lead to a nuclear conflagration, this is going to signal further nuclear proliferation, arms race and a new cold war. Continue reading “STRANGER THAN FICTION: America?s ramped up nuclear capability: Prelude to another Cold War?”

Does Obama know he?s fighting on al-Qa?ida?s side?

ROBERT FISK?The Independent?Tuesday 27 August 2013

?All for one and one for all? should be the battle cry if the West goes to war against Assad?s Syrian regime.?
Quite an alliance! Was it not the Three Musketeers who shouted ?All for one and one for all? each time they sought combat? This really should be the new battle cry if ? or when ? the statesmen of the Western world go to war against Bashar al-Assad.
The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords. Continue reading “Does Obama know he?s fighting on al-Qa?ida?s side?”

The Iranian Living Room


Iranian Living Room
If you leaf through our family album
the first ten years of my life
were spent in black and white
and predominantly in our living room
yet my memories of those years
are full of colour.
Hamid Ziarati, Iranian writer
Iranian Living Room?is the first of a series of editorial projects self-published by Fabrica. Continue reading “The Iranian Living Room”

When the lady ?not for turning?, turned

An insight into the realities of politics and the difference between what politicians say and what they do. By a journalist who knows more about politicians than most. Ed.

By Alan Hart?April 9, 2013

Margaret Thatcher
The news of the death of Britain?s Iron Lady, Baroness Thatcher, prompted me to recall my favourite story about her. In 1980, in the first of her three terms as prime minister, she said in a speech to her Conservative Party?s Conference: ?You turn if you want to. The lady?s not for turning.? Because I was personally engaged with her at the time, I know that she performed her first U turn in her first 48 hours of being prime minister. Continue reading “When the lady ?not for turning?, turned”

PIX: The Interior, A Special issue on IRAN

PIX call 1 800 pix
This is a call for the next issue of PIX titled?.?The Call for Photo Submissions is attached as a PDF, and the deadline is April 15, 2013. Do consider sending in your work or passing this on to whosoever you think may be interested. A brief note is copied below.
PIX team Continue reading “PIX: The Interior, A Special issue on IRAN”

Flashback 04: Shadi Ghadirian

Photo by Shadi Ghadirian
Photo by Shadi Ghadirian
Some more flashbacks before the official launch of Chobi Mela VII!?Less than 76 hours to go!

Today Iranian photographer?Shadi Ghadirian?talks about her experience of Chobi Mela.
1) What drew you to Chobi Mela? What are your strongest memories?
When I met Shahidul in person in Iran and he showed me the catalogues of Chobi Mela . Travelling to Dhaka was like a big surprise for me. All of it, from the beginning until the festival?s end.
2) What separates Chobi Mela from other festivals?
I felt so familiar with it all. The people who worked there were very friendly and I felt at home.
3) What is it about Dhaka that has made the biggest impression on you?
Lots of people were everywhere and they were OK with everything. I remember Nomoney and also I remember the nice girl who was my interpreter. I remember the night that we went on the boat cruise with all the photographers ? there was lots of singing and dancing involved. I remember that all over the city there were photographs from festival. I also had the pleasure to meet the editor of ZoneZero, Pedro Meyer. Moreover I met the mother of Shahidul, an old lady who lived in the middle of Chobi Mela, in the same house! I loved Rahnuma (Shahidul?s partner) and I was lucky because I could stay at Rahnuma?s mother?s house where I could see for myself how Bangladeshi people live.
These are the things which stay in my mind.
4) If you were to describe Chobi Mela to a friend who had never been to Bangladesh before, how would you do so?
It would be a totally new experience. Don?t miss it.
5) Has coming to Chobi Mela changed your perception about Bangladesh?
Yes. Yes of course, I?d love to canoe there again and just walk in the streets and observe the people.
6) What is the one word that best describes Chobi Mela?
It is a friendly festival.
Visit Shadi Ghadirian?s website:?

The 3rd International Resistance Art Festival

Dear Artist;
We are pleased to inform you that Visual Arts Association of Islamic Revolution and Holly Defense in Iran is about to hold ?The 3rd International Resistance Art Festival? in November 2013. The Festival is held in 12 categories including Painting, Drawing and Printmaking, Persian Painting, Calligraphic Painting and Typography, Illustration (Graphics), Poster, Photography, Caricature and Cartoons, Sculpture, Animation, New Conceptual Arts and finally, Scientific Congress and Research Papers. Please read the entry information below. If you are interested to participate, please attach the images of your works to this email based upon the conditions that mentioned below. (For the primary selection, only the images of your works are needed). It is notable that you can participate in more than one category in the festival contest.
WE WILL WELCOME THE SUGGESTIONS FOR CREATIVE AND NEW PROJECTS. Continue reading “The 3rd International Resistance Art Festival”

A view from the other side of the Iran story

By Satish Sharma

The demonisation of the other to create an enemy you can then fight is a reality few can deny. Over the years I have watched the demonisation of Iran by the free press of the free West, with utter disbelief.
I was in Tehran when the most repeated propaganda ?about the Iranian threat to “wipe Israel off the map” started. I knew the New York Times reporter ?whose “mistranslation’ (to ?put it politely) of a speech began the?demonistaion/?propanganda push. That lie, which is what it really is, is still repeated by lying leaders and media who should, and actually do, know better.
I was in Iran when the move to invade Iraq began. I watched the War ?and learnt ?about how it was just the beginning of a new great game. ?”The real men” -among the diplomats and soldiers- I was often told, ? ” were waiting to go to Iran” ?They are still waiting. Iran is still the ?Big Prize. ?The Big Plunder waiting to happen.

In a concerted and mischievous attempt, the world?s mainstream media have started to pull out all the stops in order to portray Iran a dangerous, abnormal, weird and horrible country which is seeking to develop nuclear weapons in order to annihilate Israel. Iranians are brazenly depicted as fanatics, terrorists and uncivilized people and the whole Iran is shown as an out-of-the-way desert in which no trace of civilization, urban life and modernity can be found.
Demonizing and isolating Iran can be seen as part of a comprehensive and multifaceted campaign of ostracizing and vilifying the Muslim world which has been intensified since the 9/11 attacks which were blamed on the Muslims and set in motion the Global War on Terror.
Before coming to Iran, every foreign tourist fears that he might be killed, or at least arrested as a spy. They perceive Iran in terms of the stereotypes and clich?s which the mainstream media present to them, and many of them are even unaware of the fact that Iranians are the same Persians who lived in the Ancient Persia for more than 7,500 years.
There are some famous myths about Iran which many people across the world have come to believe, and I would like to rebuff them here as best as I can:

??I: Nonintervention In Iranian Affairs 1. The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran ‘s internal affairs.?
Since its very inception, the United States has violated this bilateral agreement.? It has continued its relentless propaganda into Iran through the Voice of America, Radio Farda, and other State-funded media outlets such as?BBC Persian which receives significant funding from the US government?.?? Launched in early 2009, the BBC Persian as well as Voice of America played a significant role in instigating violence post 2009 Iranian Presidential elections.
It is abundantly clear that America is not a ?Good Samaritan’ State, and its policies are not driven by compassion.?? Ironically, with?drones spying on Americans?,??network neutrality undermined?, and?internet censorship?abound at home, the Obama administration demands that Iran open itself to further sabotage and subversion guised as compassion. ??In other words, embrace the implementation of?Donald Rumsfeld’s Information Operations Roadmap?? namely, computer network attacks, psychological operations, “maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum”, and US ability to ?”disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum”. ??
One would be hard-pressed to believe that the newly imposed sanctions on Iran are a reflection of care and concern for the Iranian people, but rather, they are punishment for resisting the net war. ?Edmund Burke was quite right to say that ?As People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have must to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.?
Satish Sharma is a photographer writer and blogger based in Nepal. He was one of the early tutors of Pathshala.