I was chosen to be on a panel at this year’s Islamophobia conference, presenting an update on my 2010 Honors thesis. I’m super stoked to present my paper, this graphic I collaged is part of the presentation that takes a visual and textual approach to representations of suicide bombers, the narratives of violence, and my conclusions about symbolic warfare.
If you’re in the bay, it’s happening at UC Berkeley’s Law School and you can check out the lineup here! I’m super excited to publicly engage on this topic and would love to see y’all there. AND IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT, they are LIVESTREAMING it!
PASSAGEWAY - new exhibit on konversation ft. Amman Desai
From the depths of respiratory sickness we choose the inspiration for this konversation exhibit: Passageway. We got Amman Desai to join in this time with his thoughtful mind and careful line. Pictured above, Amman’s linocut print, titled “Mor Ka Pankha,” is a meditation on diaspora.
Amman is a South Asian queer artist/non-profiteer living in Oakland. His interests include basmati rice, Baduizm, animality, curry leaves, elephants, and lions. If you dig his work or wanna say hi, hit him up via email.
SZA’s Z EP is on Spotify! [Click the pic to stream]
Been really stoked about the amount of female r&b/singers blossoming in the playlists in 2014. Been fiending for those voices with all the soulection type beats coming out. Shoutout tinashe kelela and fka twigs as well. Down for SZA giving TDE some diff energy lol.
SF based Iranian Artist Taraneh Hemami talks to us about her current projects, upcoming conference, and the role of arts in education. Her simultaneously emotive and educative artworks have been exhibited across the Middle East, Europe, America, and Wikipedia. She is presently working on Fabrications, a running project of memorializing and communicating the alternative histories found in an archive of dissent from the Iranian Student’s Association at Berkeley detailing banned books, propaganda, and student activism.
On “High Fashion” Collections explicitly inspired by Persian prints:
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been dying to have all over print clothing with the patterns of my Persian heritage (rugs, mosaics, metalwork, miniature painting, and khatam kari). Props to House of Hackney’s Mey Meh collection and Hermès’ Tabriz collection feeling the same way and at least naming their collections after places in Iran, but I can’t help but wonder about a few things:
Why aren’t there Persian models? Persian rugs have been valued more internationally than Persian bodies. Did any Persian artisans or organizations preserving/promoting their arts make money from these collections? I find myself at an intersection of the West selectively exporting Persian aesthetics for fashion gain, while maintaining sanctions against Iran leaving them unable to import from the the West. Observing the directions of resource flows, I’m finding it hard to separate fashion from politics.
Whenever I find out about a young Iranian creative in the Bay, I geek out. Mo Gorjestani is a self-sustained independent filmmaker and creative director at age 30. His shortfilms provide beautiful views into Iranian life and have received official selections in festivals from Sundance and Tribeca to SXSW. My personal favorite thing about his films is how EACHframe is so thoughtfully composed.
In anticipation of his free screening and Q&A with the Cultures of Iranian Diaspora Conference April 12th, we met up in a chocolate store, s’mores and cookies in hand, to talk about the creative process and staying motivated.
I was so happy when I saw Thrasher had a whole spread on Iran in their April issue. Watch the skate video they make there as part of their Visual Traveling series and learn about the rad dude in Teheran who hit them up to begin with! He’s an engineer who started the skating scene in Teheran by literally making boards from scratch since they can’t import from the U.S. with sanctions! Also a lot of tourist spot cameo’s and cool tricks. Though I wish they also repped fashionista hijabis in their b-roll lol.
We got to interview the LEGENDARY OG CREATOR OF PERSIAN FICTION DIASPORA Persis Karim, author and editor of three anthologies of Iranian American fiction, talks to us about the conference she is organizing at San Jose State: Cultures of Iranian American Diaspora with panels featuring creatives in art, fiction, tech, and film.
it’s really an opportunity to understand and participate in the very important evolving conversation about the role of art in both creating new ways of seeing and also drawing on old stories that still inform many people.
#GlobalPOV Project: “Who is Dependent on Welfare - Ananya Roy”
I came across this video yesterday and flipped out, #1 because I took this Global Poverty class at UC Berkeley and every moment of it was absolutely brilliant. #2 I’m an Ananya Roy FANGIRL- she’s got style, elegance, and poise for days. Her mind is radiant, and her student fans cheered that year when she decided to stay at UC Berkeley instead of taking Harvard’s bait to swing their way. #3 This video (and all the videos in this Blum Center x GlobalPOV series) are super creative and artistic ways of communicating theory, statistics, and proposals. This particular video shows us how the magnitude of how the wealthy depend on government subsidies and welfare.
"Poverty is not only the lack of income and wealth but also the poverty of power."
Checking out these videos as some food for thought and post-grad connection to the class that changed my life.
For this installment of Konversation, we bring you Hijab with guest, Hirad Sab aka munkeees. Sab grew up in Iran and currently studies Computer Science at the University of Utah. Before we dove into the Konversation, we dialogued in hopes of fleshing out our intentions and subjectivities with such a sensitive topic. "The only connection I have to the culture that I have is through the screen, it’s a sense of nostalgia. At the same time, it’s just a virtual representation," says Hirad. We’re at the intersections of many diasporadic identity crises- real vs. digital simulation, motherland vs. promiseland, sometimes we feel them, and sometimes we are subject to the numbness of commodity fetishism.