Coming in June – Document: Iranian-Americans in Los Angeles

Maryam Mottahedeh, poet (photo by Arash Saedinia)

Poet Maryam Mottahedeh, photographed by Arash Saedinia

Opening June 6 at UCLA’s Fowler Museum, “Document: Iranian-Americans in Los Angeles” is the first big photo project documenting L.A.’s Iranian-Americans since Irangeles (which is an amazing book, but nearly 20 years old and no longer in print, time for an update!). The exhibit, produced/curated by Amy Malek, will show the work of four Iranian-American photographers who shot a very diverse list of hamvatans – doctors and engineers, natch, but also poets, artists, cops, and moms – which should make for a super-cool show.

From the release:

“In cultivating this collaborative project,” said guest curator Amy Malek, “I wanted to examine documentation as a representational process by offering four Iranian American photographers’ perspectives on who we are, stressing the importance of including multiple voices in documenting our own Los Angeles communities.”
Sounds pretty awesome, right? The Fowler is also putting together some really interesting opening day stuff that sounds like it will provide some helpful context for these images. Details:
Sunday, June 6, noon–6 p.m.
Opening Day Programs
“Document: Iranian-Americans in Los Angeles”
A panel of scholars will discuss issues relating to the Iranian diaspora and visual anthropology. Next, exhibition curator Amy Malek will be joined by the four documentary photographers whose work is featured in the exhibition — Farhad Parsa, Arash Saedinia, Parisa Taghizadeh and Ramin Talaie — who will discuss their experiences documenting the everyday lives of second-generation Iranian Americans in Los Angeles. A gallery tour with Malek and a reception follow. Please check for a detailed schedule.
The photos will be on display at the Fowler through August 22 – don’t miss them!

More details:  ‘Document: Iranian-Americans in Los Angeles’ opens June 6 at Fowler Museum at UCLA

Noor Film Festival 2008 Photos

Saye Yabandeh

Hey, remember when we said we were going to the Noor Film Festival red carpet thingy? No? Well, we went. And Amy Malek – Pars Arts contributor, anthropology genius, NGO-starter, and fearless press photographer extraordinaire – took some amazing photos that you should definitely not miss. Seriously, it was elbows-out in this press pit and Amy spent a solid couple of hours wedged between some people from Persian satellite TV and a disgruntled yet chatty guy from one of the wire services. We love you, Amy.

Above, she managed to capture the Iranian Paris Hilton (accidentally?) flashing her dog’s nether regions. Persian Paris’s real name is Saye Yabandeh, and she’s an actress, and we think she kinda rocks for bringing her puppy to the LAX Hilton. And her pet’s coloring matches her leopard-print dress. So Hollywood!

Check out the rest of the photos, which include guy-who-plays-Dwight-Schrute Rainn Wilson, Iranian stage actress Mary Apick, and the best male Persian pop star of any of our lifetimes (Andy, duh), among others, in the full Noor Film Festival 2008 red carpet photo album.

So besides the pictures… our favorite thing of the night was the clip below. We say keep your eyes and ears open for this doc about prejudice and perception, Ain’t She Sweet, by Bita Haidarian: