art of resistance, Iran

Tarlan Rafiee: The printess of Iran.

Tarlan Rafiee is an Iranian visual artist/printmaker, photographer and painter. Rafiee has held many painting and printmaking exhibitions in the best known galleries and art museums in Iran.  She now works as a tutor in printmaking in her own studio and other art institutes. Her style could be described as edgy colorful vintage, a blast from the past, but in its essence very relevant today. Rafiee says her  greatest inspiration comes from popular culture, everyday life of ordinary people, their nostalgias and their hopes.

Here are some of Rafiee’s artworks.

taarlan4Once upon a time (collection)

tarlan once upon a timeHappiness package (collection)

tarlan2Once upon a time (collection details)

tarlan3Women gathering (collection)

tarlan6Once upon a time (collection)

Women-Gathering-wall-2-e1405233888307Women gathering (collection)

/all images © Tarlan Rafiee/

For more, visit Rafiee’s facebook page.

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Iran, tea + food, travel

The Wonders of the Kerman province, Iran.

Located in southeastern Iran, Kerman is one of Iran’s oldest cities and one of the world’s largest producers of – pistachios. Delicious cashews aside, Kerman is also a major center for carpet producing and exporting. Kerman is the capital city of the Kerman province, which has a lot to offer to those who wish to wander and discover beauty – there is The Arg-e Bam, the largest adobe building in the world, located in the city of Bam. The origin of this enormous citadel on the Silk Road can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC) and even beyond. In 2003, the Citadel was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake, along with much of the rest of Bam and its environs. A few days after the earthquake, it was announced that the Citadel would be rebuilt.

Kerman province is also considered a paradise for palaeontologists because of an abundance of vertebrate fossils from different geological eras. Most of the province is largely steppe or sandy desert, although there are some oases where dates, oranges (said to be the best in Iran), and pistachios are cultivated.

Here are some photos, enjoy.

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art of resistance, Iran

Children of Heaven.

Children of Heaven (1997) is an Iranian film directed by Majid Majidi. Some time has passed since it was made, but it is timeless in its beauty. That is why I want to write something about it (now).

It’s a story about a boy from a poor family, Ali, who loses his sister’s shoes. He knows his father has no money to buy new ones, so he and his sister decide to share his sneakers. She goes to school in the morning, he goes in the afternoon. Every day after school, she runs fast to meet him, and they exchange shoes on the street (he takes the sneakers, she puts on the house slippers), and then he runs fast in order to get to school on time.

It’s an adventure, and they have a lot of additional issues on the way. The plot is very simple, but it captures such a bigger story. The issues of poverty – not being able to afford basic things, feeling frustrated, running in circles.. But, it also perfectly captures the creativity and adroitness growing out of poverty. Not being able to have something, you need to find your way – either make it somehow, or learn how to get around without it. And still find pleasure, and still be able to smile, and – love. That is the magic, and children are the ones who know how to do it the best.

All of the actors are great, but Amir Farrokh Hashemian, a boy playing Ali, is simply amazing. His emotions are so honest and moving.  I didn’t feel, at any point – he is an actor. It was real, it was his life. There’s this aura of beauty and innocence which makes it a true pleasure to watch. It took me back to my childhood. Our ways of making things and making things happen – little moments of joy – like not having money for firecrackers for New Year’s eve, but collecting milk cartons for days, inflating them and then jumping on them to make them sound like firecrackers. It was magic.

Be sure to watch to movie, if you haven’t. It’s unique, heartwarming, inspiring and just –  marvelous.

Here are some screenshots I took. Enjoy.

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art of resistance, Iran

The Iranian Knot (traditional vs. everyday life) by Jalal Sepehr.

Jalal Sepehr is an Iranian photographer. His work Knot series (2011) is comprised of 12 images all including a Persian rug (1m x 70cm) taken in the historic city of Yazd in central Iran. Contrary to initial intentions, some of the images in Knot make use of the historic scenes and examples of architecture found in Yazd.

In this series, Sepehr strove to depict a space in between traditional and everyday life in his pictures. To do so, he made use of the rug and architecture as representative of tradition in opposition to the individuals pictured, dealing with the issues of everyday life.

knot-4-rah“A contrast”, Knot Series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-abanbar“Uncertainty”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-amir-chgmagh“A procession of mourning”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-dastha“Hands”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-do-panjareh“two windows”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-ghale“A gate in the way”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-ketab“A look at the past”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-loolehaye-farsh“Closing and leaving”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-partab“Thrown away”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-pirmard“A half look at the past”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-estade“A view”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

knot-jahesh“From this side to that side”, Knot series, Jalal Sepehr

Beyond having participated in tens of exhibits both abroad and within Iran, Sepehr’s photography has been featured in galleries worldwide, including his series titled Water at the Silk Road Gallery (Tehran 2004), and his series Knot at the Khaki Gallery (Boston 2011). Visit his official website for more.

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