Hiatus

As you may see from the absence of posts for the last several months, Pars Arts is on indefinite hiatus. The seeming cringe-fest Shahs of Sunset may bring me back, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in and supported Pars Arts since our start in 2006 – there weren’t many people talking online about the young Iranian diaspora back then, and luckily there are tons of places to get inspired now.

So if you’re jonesing for Iran-related art/culture/diaspora stuff, may I recommend:

  • The Pars Arts archives – every post from the last 5 years of the site’s existence (look at the top right of this site, and you can browse by category)
  • Yadashts – a super-cool and smart tumblr that’s all up on diaspora life and culture
  • Persianesque – an online magazine that features a lot of interviews with interesting Iranians

Please feel free to add other interesting sites in the comment section below.

Keep your nose clean, Internet! See you whenever!

Ugly Persian Houses

You know what’s tackier than an ugly Persian house?

Using architectural critique as a cover for xenophobia and racism!

This site’s writers insist they’re not racist but in the same post drop the term “Ugly Persian Creep” (replace “Persian” with “black” or “Jewish” – does it still sound not-racist?). On their about page, they ask “if you love America, why turn all of your houses into reminders of the very place you fled?”

(Not even gonna break down why that’s so messed up but suffice it to say there’s nothing remotely Irooni about this style of architecture whatsoever, so why peg all of Persianity with this hideousness?)

Yikes, dudes. Just… yikes.

(P.S. This site is annoying too.)

Martha and Najmieh Cook Baghali Polo

Iranian chef and cookbook legend Najmieh Batmanglij taught Martha Stewart how to make baghali polo with lamb shank on TV this week, as well as explaining Norooz, chahrshanbeh soori, and the haftseen. So cool! (Click the photo above to watch the segment.)

(via the lovely new blog Yadashts)

Noroozetan Pirooz

Iran 2011 from Cyrus Dowlatshahi on Vimeo.

 

1390 begins tomorrow. Happy Norooz to you and yours.

This video of beautiful images from Iran was created by Cyrus Dowlatshahi.

(Thanks, Cyrus!)

Dalia Sofer on Hedayat

In the 2006 documentary Forever, by Heddy Honigmann, which explores the reasons people visit the famed Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, an Iranian taxi driver standing before Sadegh Hedayat’s grave is visiting because Hedayat wrote of alienation. Later, he turns to the camera and sings the kind of song that, if you are an Iranian trying to keep loss and alienation at bay, will make you weepy.

The Believer – Sadegh Hedayat’s THE BLIND OWL.

‘Parazit’ on The Daily Show

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Kambiz Hosseini & Saman Arbabi Extended Interview<a>
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

These guys produce a satire show about Iran and they are so funny. Here’s a blog with YouTube embeds. Here’s their Facebook page. Here’s a piece about them on Tehran Bureau. (I believe Saman Arbabi, the dude in the crazy pants, is also the mind behind several Abjeez music videos).

(Daily Show clip first seen here.)

Sweet Tides (Acoustic) – LouLou Ghelichkhani

Thievery Corporation’s LouLou Ghelichkhani and Rob Myers perform Sweet Tides in a stairwell. Eerie and beautiful.

(via Persianesque)

“I’m a very proud clicker, and I’ll keep clicking away forever”

They make this look disgusting (silly BBC), but aren’t you just green with envy at how this girl can click and crack and pop every part of her body at will? Well done, Pegah, well done.

(via Iranian.com)

Ala Ebtekar


Here’s a great (Persian only) video profile of Iranian-American artist Ala Ebtekar, from VOA. Ebtekar has produced some really interesting work across various media, and in this video he lays out his background and what inspires his art. I’m partial to his drawings on book pages, like this one.

(Thanks, Charlie James Gallery!)

Tehran WikiLeaks – 1979 Cable

Some “Special Features of Conducting Business in the Persian Environment,” from a 1979 cable sent by U.S. diplomats at the Tehran embassy… (and recently released by WikiLeaks):

THERE ARE SEVERAL LESSONS FOR THOSE WHO WOULD NEGOTIATE WITH PERSIANS IN ALL THIS:

- –FIRST, ONE SHOULD NEVER ASSUME THAT HIS SIDE OF THE ISSUE WILL BE RECOGNIZED, LET ALONE THAT IT WILL BE CONCEDED TO HAVE MERITS. PERSIAN PREOCCUPATION WITH SELF PRECLUDES THIS. A NEGOTIATOR MUST FORCE RECOGNITION OF HIS POSITION UPON HIS PERSIAN OPPOSITE NUMBER.

- –SECOND, ONE SHOULD NOT EXPECT AN IRANIAN READILY TO PERCEIVE THE ADVANTAGES OF A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP BASED ON TRUST. HE WILL ASSUME THAT HIS OPPOSITE NUMBER IS ESSENTIALLY AN ADVERSARY. IN DEALING WITH HIM HE WILL ATTEMPT TO MAXIMIZE THE BENEFITS TO HIMSELF THAT ARE IMMEDIATELY OBTAINABLE. HE WILL BE PREPARED TO GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO ACHIEVE THIS GOAL, INCLUDING RUNNING THE RISK OF SO ALIENATING WHOEVER HE IS DEALING WITH THAT FUTURE BUSINESS WOULD BE UNTHINKABLE, AT LEAST TO THE LATTER.

- –THIRD, INTERLOCKING RELATIONSHIPS OF ALL ASPECTS OF AN ISSUE MUST BE PAINSTAKINGLY, FORECEFULLY AND REPEATEDLY DEVELOPED. LINKAGES WILL BE NEITHER READILY COMPREHENDED NOR ACCEPTED BY PERSIAN NEGOTIATORS.

- –FOURTH, ONE SHOULD INSIST ON PERFORMANCE AS THE SINE QUA NON AT ESH STAGE OF NEGOTIATIONS. STATEMENTS OF INTENTION COUNT FOR ALMOST NOTHING.

- –FIFTH, CULTIVATION OF GOODWILL FOR GOODWILL’S SAKE IS A WASTE OF EFFORT. THE OVERRIDING OBJECTIVE AT ALL TIMES SHOULD BE IMPRESSING UPON THE PERSIAN ACROSS THE TABLE THE MUTUALITY OF THE PROPOSED UNDERTAKINGS, HE MUST BE MADE TO KNOW THAT A QUID PRO QUO IS INVOLVED ON BOTH SIDES.

- –FINALLY, ONE SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR THE THREAT OF BREAKDOWN IN NEGOTIATIONS AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT AND NOT BE COWED BY THE POSSIBLITY. GIVEN THE PERSIAN NEGOTIATOR’S CULTURAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS, HE IS GOING TO RESIST THE VERY CONCEPT OF A RATIONAL (FROM THE WESTERN POINT OF VIEW) NEGOTIATING PROCESS.

via: Belog » Total Persian Preoccupation With Self 1979

So much of this resonates. Although the phrase “cultural and psychological limitations” has just the slightest whiff of xenophobia, no? Perhaps “differences” would have been a better choice than “limitations”?