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!)

Maz Jobrani at TED

Maz Jobrani talks at TED about being Iranian-American, travel, casting, comedy, etc.

(Thanks, Yogurtsoda!)

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 www.fowler.ucla.edu 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

Nasim Pedrad

Every dorky Iranian girl will relate to this great stand-up bit by comic and actor Nasim Pedrad, who has appeared on ER and performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Also check out her fairly accurate mockumentary about the A.I.B. – aggressive Iranian bachelor:

(via Iranian.com)

Iranian American Writers Online

The Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW) has just launched their website, iranianamericanwriters.org, which features member profiles, excerpts of member work, and a blog. From the group’s mission statement:

The Association of Iranian American Writers is a member-based organization dedicated to promoting the work of fiction and non-fiction writers, essayists, poets, journalists, photojournalists, and artists who work with words. Iranian heritage and/or Iranian history and culture are important aspects of our work, although not necessarily our essential subject matter.

Membership starts at $50 ($35 for students). The group was founded by professor and writer Persis Karim and is co-directed by her and writer Manijeh Nasrabadi.

(Full disclosure: I spoke at AIAW’s inaugural conference.)