30 Years of Solitude

"Be Colourful," Shadi Ghadirian, 2006

An event put on by Iran Heritage in London this Saturday, 30 Years of Solitude is a day highlighting Iranian women artists. From Iran Heritage:

One of the most remarkable aspects of the exhibition is the sense of humour with which the artists tackle their problems, addressing major issues such as Islamic paternalism, loss of identity, isolation from the rest of the world, the Iranian Revolution and the devastating eight-year war with Iraq from 1981-1989 where thousands of teenagers ran to martyrdom. 30 Years of Solitude shows that the contemporary art of Iran has been hugely influenced by the traumatic historic events of the last three decades, and that millions of Iranians have been affected by them in one way or another. As Faryar Javaherian says “Art was a way to exorcise all the evils witnessed during the war and the Revolution. After World War II there was a similar outburst of art, literature and philosophy in Europe”.

RIP Benazir Bhutto


Benazir Bhutto, formerly two-time prime minister of Pakistan and part of a prominent political family, was assassinated today in Islamabad. She recently returned to the country after nine years of self-exile related to charges of alleged corruption (which caused her removal from office and were dropped for her return). Bhutto is half Iranian; her mother, Nusrat, is of Iranian Kurdish heritage. Benazir was the first woman to be elected head of a Muslim state, and not one short on controversy. But the violence against her is terrible and it’s sad to see her homeland in disarray.

Here are two bios.

Adventure Divas in Iran

There’s no TV at Pars Arts headquarters, but the Adventure Divas makes us wish we’d had one when their shows, which are a “lipstick feminist” take on travel, aired on public television. The main “divas,” mother and daughter Jeannie and Holly Morris, traveled the globe to find women doing cool things. Their journey included a stop in Iran, where they talked to luminaries like singer Pari Zanganeh, founder of Zanan magazine Shahla Sherkat, and taxi entrepreneur Zahra Moussavi, among others. I’ve never been crazy about the word diva, but I think their stopping in Iran was awesome, as is the fact that the series is a mostly female enterprise. I haven’t see any of the episodes yet myself but the whole show is available for purchase on their website (I’m told you can’t buy individual shows anymore but the website still has them listed).