Iranian Art – Afarin Rahmanifar Wed, 22 Jun 2022 06:33:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Iranian Art – Afarin Rahmanifar 32 32 Anita Leisz: Würdigungspreis des Landes Steiermark für bildende Kunst 2020 / Yalda Afsah: Every word was once an animal – Announcements Wed, 22 Jun 2022 04:21:02 +0000

HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark is delighted to present the 2022 summer program with two major solo exhibitions of the work of artists Anita Leisz and Yalda Afsah. Both exhibitions present new productions and publications developed by the respective artists.

Anita Leisz
The visual language of Anita Leisz’s sculptures, objects and installations oscillates between echoes of minimal art, non-figurative painting and industrialism. Leisz relies on rather sober materials, with cold colors and shapes. Materials used in the construction industry, such as various types of fiberboard, metals and sheet metal, are prepared in several stages and placed in relation to spaces and spectators. The specific ways in which Leisz treats and shapes these industrial materials lead to remarkable results with great presence and sensitivity, testifying to the quality of his work and raising questions about the production and reception of art today.

Anita Leisz always links her artistic works to the places where they are presented and has in mind a specific intervention in these places. His exhibitions are dramatic installations that link the exterior and interior of a space inseparably with and through art; the object and the space thus lend mutual meaning to each other. By using this strategy of appropriation, Leisz resists a standardized and uniform reception. The artist offers his audience precise and immediate stagings representing different working options with a given space, making this transformability the marker of his practice. In line with this program, the artist will approach the location of his new solo exhibition with precision-crafted works of art – highly conscious artistic positions that defy perception and invite us to question what is visible and what is not. is not. Leisz deliberately avoids any kind of narrative cue here, drawing our attention entirely to the relationship between object, space and recipient.

This exhibition project is one of the consequences of the artist obtaining the Styrian State Prize in recognition of fine arts in 2020.

Organized by Sandro Droschl.

Yalda Afsah
The human relationship with animals and the agency surrounding this interaction are central to the work of German-Iranian artist Yalda Afsah. In collaboration with Kunstverein München, HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark presents its first institutional solo exhibition, focusing on issues of power, care and control in relation to domestication. Using three examples – bullfighting, horse training and pigeon breeding – she examines the blurred lines between affection and identification with animals on the one hand, and human submission and domination of somewhere else.

In the conditioning of animals, anthropocentric power relations become evident. Afsah’s works reveal the ambiguous nature of the forces operating at the center of these relationships. She directs our gaze to the moments when the bodies of humans and animals are marked by a strange closeness: the camera lingers on the aesthetic but unnatural movements of a horse, focuses on the concentrated aggression of a bull , or follows the gazes of men searching the sky for pigeons performing falls.

In old Eurocentric definitions of social space, exclusion has long been inscribed. As the philosopher Fahim Amir writes: “a place to which neither animals, nor plants, nor slaves, nor women had access, but only the free anthropos who prowled intelligently”, while the others struggled the edges. It is precisely these margins that Afsah focuses on in its work, because it is where we decide who cares or subjugates whom, and who is even defined as an independent subject in the first place. Animals themselves appear in Afsah’s works as protagonists and living beings — not just under the gaze of their human companions.

Organized by Maurin Dietrich and Cathrin Mayer.

The HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark is supported by the regional government of Styria, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport and the City of Graz.

Press inquiries: =(c=c.charCodeAt(0)+13)?c:c-26);});return false”>Helga Droschl

Stranded in Iran: Refugee theater maker Peyvand Sadeghian recounts the experience that shaped her career Mon, 20 Jun 2022 14:36:09 +0000

To mark World Refugee Day 2022, Euronews Culture tells the stories of refugee artists and performers in Europe.

The worst birthday in the life of Peyvand Sadeghian? When she turned 11 during an extended stay in Iran.

“My family tried to make it fun, but it didn’t really work,” says the actor, director and performer.

When she was 10, Sadeghian’s father took her to Iran to visit his extended family, from whom he was separated when he fled the Islamic revolution at the age of 17.

Arriving in the UK as a minor, Sadeghian’s father had settled down and started a family, eventually obtaining British citizenship for her and her sister.

One day, Sadeghian’s father decided to take him to meet his family in Iran.

Despite her father’s obvious discomfort telling her she should wear a headscarf when they arrived, Sadeghian was thrilled to see her family’s home country and meet her grandparents.

“I had never been abroad. I was just excited to be on a plane…I was excited about all the amazing food,” she says. “I didn’t really have a sense of the seriousness of it.”

Stranded in Iran as a dual national

A new reality set in as she left her flight, as bloodline nationality laws in Iran did not recognize her British naturalization.

Sadeghian was forced to obtain a new Iranian passport and a new name, Parisa.

“There were a lot of things that I didn’t understand or didn’t understand. What do I am not British? said Sadeghian.

“Nobody was talking to me or being honest with me,” she adds. “I was hearing conversations and trying to piece together what was going on.”

For more than a year, she was stuck in an effectively foreign country. Her father was arrested and the British government ignored his case.

Throughout her stay in Iran, Sadeghian had packed her bags, ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

Refugee: discovering a part of myself

Sadeghian eventually returned to the UK, but it wasn’t until she was 18 that Sadeghian really understood the implications of what had happened, or the underlying causes.

Now in her twenties, she looks back on her time there with a mixture of confusion and bewilderment, a child in an adult world, where even adults were crippled by the Iranian state.

“It wasn’t until I got my own passport that I looked at these papers saying I was a refugee, saying I didn’t have the right to work even though I was a child, and that I saw the naturalization papers,” she said.

“It’s something we’ve never really talked about.

“It was a very strange experience to discover a part of yourself that you weren’t aware of.”

This realization that scraps of paper and the powerful interstate relationships they represent can shape a life has fueled Sadeghian’s work.

Now a rising star, how does this story affect Sadeghian’s acting career?

What it means to be both British and Iranian

“Dual,” his 2020 theatrical show, soon to be revived and back on the road, tells the story of his time in Iran and the effects it had on the rest of his life.

This left him with a lasting distaste for the fate of individuals dictated by geopolitics.

“You are at the mercy of all the relationships that are maintained at the top, I find that quite disgusting,” she says.

‘Dual’ was followed by many immigrants and refugees, opening up conversations about the difficulties of obtaining established status and being mired in bureaucracy.

Sadeghian’s distinctive voice is something of a reaction to the silence surrounding her childhood experiences, and the irony of making art about an oppressive regime under which she could never be so expressive is not lost for her.

“I was really touched, it’s a conversation that people don’t really have the opportunity to have with each other,” she adds.

Multimedia practice for a sensory scenic experience

Sadeghian uses many methods to communicate his vision, which is usually well documented from conversations, academic papers, and books before he started creating.

“I really am an all-around creator. I gather that material and then I rework from that in terms of form,” she says.

Over a career in which she has faced the barriers of being mixed-race and working-class, Sadeghian has acquired an impressive arsenal of skills she can use to engage audiences with complex ideas.

His work often has a multimedia bent, involving puppets or mediums to represent social media.

In a collaborative project titled “Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran,” Sadeghian took to Instagram on stage to show the “rabbit holes” people can go down in the private world of their phones. ‘

Dual’ even included voice notes from his father, who now lives in China.

“I think he’s happy that I’m working on this, but it was also pretty hard for him to talk about it without fuming and raving,” she adds.

Netflix, Amazon Prime and beyond

After years of struggling with the financial burden of an early acting career, Sadeghian found her place on screen in shows that would soon make her a familiar face.

His upcoming projects include a part in a ‘Bridgerton’ spin-off on Netflix that tells the origin story of iconic motorwoman Queen Charlotte, while Sadeghian is also a cast member in from Amazon Prime adaptation of the hit feminist allegory “The Power”.

However, despite quickly gaining widespread fame, the actor is refreshing, which is perhaps why his work is so relevant.

“There are things creeping in the UK and it’s really important to be aware of that and not constantly pat yourself on the back,” Sadeghian says.

But even as his star rises, the creative spirit can never quite let go of his childhood in Iran.

“I often think that if I didn’t leave, what would this version of life be like? ” she says.

Photographer Armin Amirian ranks second in Alpine Fellowship visual arts competition Sat, 18 Jun 2022 13:58:15 +0000

TEHRAN – Iranian photographer Armin Amirian finished second in the Alpine Fellowship Visual Arts Prize 2022.

He won the award for his work “Analog-1”, a monochrome Type-C digital print that shows half-naked boys climbing ladders on a snow-capped mountain overlooking a city.

Amirian, 27, is a self-taught artist who spent his childhood and adolescence experimenting with different art genres and mediums while being touched by Iran, the world, family and culture, and continued his studies in physical. He began to work professionally in the field of photography and cinema in his early teens.

In a Facebook post, he said that for him it was the freedom to create something new with his images that drew him to staged photography.

“I love digital photography and using apps to manipulate my photos,” he said.

“It’s not about superficial editing, like photometric corrections, colors and good techniques. Digital technology allows me to create new experiences,” he added.

“It’s a sign that people aim to have everything under their control, and they have the freedom to do so instead of being held back by limitations; nowadays, the older we grow, the more creative art plays a more important role in our lives than our control over tools,” he mentioned.

The Alpine Fellowship is a London-based charitable foundation that supports, commissions and presents artists, writers, scholars and playwrights at all stages of their careers.

They are committed to discovering emerging talent, spreading new ideas and sharing their thoughts on art, literature and philosophy.

First place in the Visual Arts category of the Alpine Fellowship was won by Hong Kong artist June Wong Siu Ling for his animated short “See the Sea with Me”.

Jin Yang Ding’s “Film” received third prize, while Takehiro Nagaoka’s “Saegiri Girl”, Odur Ronald’s “Muwawa” (“Without Care”) and Aleksandra Kulak’s “Mara” picked up honorable mentions. honorable.

“Freedom” was the theme for the 2022 Alpine Fellowship. The winner will receive a cash prize of £3,000 and an additional £1,000 for the artist’s travel, shipping and installation of their work during of the symposium, which will take place in August at a venue in the UK.

Finalists will be invited to attend the symposium to exhibit their work. Travel costs will be reimbursed up to a total of £500, and food and accommodation will be covered.

Photo: “Analog-1” by Iranian photographer Armin Amirian won second place in the 2022 Alpine Fellowship Visual Arts Award.


The Nashville Ledger Thu, 16 Jun 2022 12:25:37 +0000 FLIGHT. 46 | NOPE. 24 | Friday, June 17, 2022

By Hollie Deese

Updated at 3:55 p.m.

At the Nossi College of Art graduation ceremony in Madison earlier this month, the school’s founder Nossi Vatandoost, 88, was on stage to present diplomas to the dozens of students who graduated graduating this year.

It’s what she’s done every year since 1973, having founded the school two years earlier in a friend’s spare room, pregnant with her son Cyrus – now the school’s CEO – to only three students.

The Persian-born artist first came to the country to attend UCLA’s art program before meeting Cyrus’ father, Iraj, who had come to the country from Iran to attend college. Baptist in Texas.

She went with him to Texas, and soon the two were married and transferred to Western Kentucky University together. Iraj and Nossi’s daughter, Lelah, was the first foreign-born child of a student in married accommodation there.

After graduation, they moved to Nashville, one of the few Iranian-Persian families in the area at the time.

“There was nobody like them around,” says his son Cyrus Vatandoost.

After many years of teaching in the Metro Nashville school system, Nossi was frustrated with the lack of money and support for arts programs, so her husband encouraged her to take advantage of her children and start teaching by herself, in her own way.

“She traded with a friend of hers who had an extra room in her house that she could use as a studio, if she promised to teach her child for free,” Cyrus says. It was 1971 and she was charging each student $3 an hour.

Gradually, the effort expanded until Nossi moved to a studio in Madison, then to a location in Hendersonville.

“She worked hard, and it grew,” Cyrus says. “And then the parents started saying, ‘Well, I want to learn to paint.’ Some of my earliest memories were when she had her studio right next to my elementary school, so I could walk there after school.

Cyrus remembers children and adults all coming to learn, as his mother went from room to room, here helping a 10-year-old child with a still life, there helping an adult with an oil painting.

“It was just amazing, the best memories I had,” he says. “I remember watching how she interacted with people of all ages and helped them at all levels. I didn’t go to daycare; I grew up in art school.

Nossi continued to teach while Iraj worked to gain accreditation for the school, steering the business side in a way that helped create a program that translated into jobs for creatives after school. graduation.

Nossi College of Art in Madison began in a room in a friend’s house in 1971.

— Photo by Ed Rode

“It’s about aligning the needs of the community so you can send the graduate who can go out and work,” Cyrus says. “So coding, front-end, web development, it’s necessary. In Nashville right now there are jobs in graphic design, social media, content creation… those kinds of things exist. And people need it right now.

More recently, Nossi opened a culinary arts program due to the current need for chefs in Nashville.

“It’s really difficult to bring these people to Nashville from Chicago or Miami because of the salary structure,” Cyrus says. “They need local talent in a pipeline, and that’s what we’re building. It’s just common sense.”

Over the years, the school grew well beyond that free room and three students, renting space in Rivergate until it got to the point where a campus was needed to continue. to grow and provide students with a better experience.

They found the property in Madison near Ellington Parkway in 2008 and spent two years designing it and another year building it.

The project was initially delayed by the stock market crash which ruined their funding, a situation that ended up working in their favor as contractors whose work had dried up were suddenly price competitive.

“You can never touch it again for what we spent building it, so we were really lucky,” he says. “We moved in and kind of suffered from the recession, which hurt Madison a lot.”

But Cyrus knew Madison would make a comeback, and now he’s in the middle. He was approached by developer Keith Samaroo, who had purchased the property across the street, and they began talking about the school’s vision for the future.

For Cyrus, that meant creating housing for students, and it aligned with Samaroo’s vision for Creative Way Village, a mixed-use commercial and residential development that could provide said opportunity.

“I’m really grateful that Keith saw the vision as well, because he could have done a lot of different things with this development, but he saw the potential,” Cyrus says.

Now, Cyrus says it’s time to reintroduce the school to a changing community that may not even realize that an art school about to celebrate its 50th anniversary is not only 10 minutes by carpool from the city center.

“Nashville was such a small town that everyone knew us,” he says.

The school’s namesake resigned and officially retired in 2021, leaving the school staff to instruct working creative professionals drawn directly from their respective industries.

“We kind of back off,” Cyrus says. “We’re really good at finding people who have the right personality to teach, the right behavior, and then turning them into teachers.”

So not only can students see what the life of a working creative is like – and that there are jobs available – but teachers are inspired by their students’ engagement.

“It’s a community,” Cyrus says.

Siberian prosecutor seeks jail term for LGBT artist for work depicting female body parts Tue, 14 Jun 2022 12:35:16 +0000

All bridges in the city of Syevyerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine have been destroyed and the conditions for people remaining in the city are “extremely difficult”, the military governor of the Luhansk region told RFE/ RL.

“All the bridges have been destroyed, so it’s impossible to bring anything into the city today, unfortunately,” said Serhiy Hayday, adding that evacuations were not possible.

Russian forces have destroyed all gas, water and electricity infrastructure, he said. saidnoting that there were also “huge problems” with medical care.

According to Hayday, the Russian military currently controls 70-80% of Syevyerodonetsk.

He added on Facebook that Syevyerodonetsk was not blocked and there was communication with the city.

The Ukrainian military said its forces had been pushed back from the center of Syevyerodonetsk, the Donbass city that has seen fierce battles as Ukrainian and Russian forces battled for control.

Eduard Basurin, a senior separatist, said on June 13 that Syevyerodonetsk had been “de facto” blocked after Russian forces blew up the “last” bridge connecting it to Lysychansk.

The Ukrainian General Staff said earlier that Russian troops had gained a foothold in the village of Bohorodychne, a village about 50 kilometers west of Syevyerodonetsk.

The capture of Bohorodychne puts the Russian forces in a good position to attack Sloviansk, a larger and more important city.

According to Basurin, forces supported by Moscow launched an offensive on Sloviansk.

Hayday earlier commented on the situation at the Azot nitrogen chemical plant in Syevyerodonetsk, where hundreds of civilians are believed to have taken refuge, saying it was “heavily shelled”.

Live briefing: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the major developments on the invasion of Russia, how Kyiv is fighting back, the plight of civilians and the Western reaction. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

Moscow-backed separatist fighters said over the weekend they had surrounded the plant and claimed Ukrainian defenders were trapped there.

The claims could not be independently confirmed.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly June 13 video address that the Battle of Syevyerodonetsk was taking “terrifying” havoc.

“The human cost of this battle is very high for us. It’s just terrifying,” Zelenskiy said. said.

He told the Ukrainians on June 12 that Russia’s “key tactical objective” had not changed.

“They are pressing in Syevyerodonetsk, heavy fighting is going on there – literally for every meter,” Zelenskiy said, adding that the Russian army was trying to dump supplies into Donbass.

Zelenskiy said Russia was deploying under-trained troops and using its young men as “cannon fodder” in the “very fierce” battle.

“Every meter of Ukrainian land there is covered in blood, but not only ours, but also that of the occupier.”

The British Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence newsletter on June 13 that in the coming months, river crossing operations “are likely to be among the most important determining factors in the course of the war”.

British intelligence said Russia had so far struggled to demonstrate the “complex coordination needed to carry out large-scale river crossings under fire”.

Despite the increasingly difficult situation, Zelenskiy remained defiant, saying Ukrainian forces prevented Russian troops from rapidly invading eastern Ukraine.

“Do you remember how in Russia, at the beginning of May, they hoped to take over all of Donbass? Zelensky said. “It’s already the 108th day of the war, already June. Donbass is holding up.”

Syevyerodonetsk has been the focal point of recent fighting that Kyiv says could determine the outcome of the war, which began on February 24 with Russia’s large-scale and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The city itself was nearly reduced to rubble by shelling by Russian forces, the situation resembling conditions seen in the southern port of Mariupol, which fell to Russian forces after a long and bloody battle last month.

In the western region of Ternopil, at least 22 people were injured when four Russian cruise missiles hit a military installation and residential buildings, the regional governor said on June 12.

Mykhaylo Podolyak, one of Zelenskiy’s main advisers, made a advocacy for thousands of weapons and heavy equipment to achieve parity with Russia at the front and end the war.

“To be frank, to end the war, we need parity in heavy weapons,” he said on Twitter. He listed 1,000 howitzers, 300 multiple rocket launchers, 500 tanks, 2,000 armored vehicles and 1,000 drones.

“The meeting of the contact group of defense ministers is taking place in #Brussels on June 15. We are waiting for a decision,” he said.

In his nightly video address to Ukrainians, Zelenskiy renewed his call for Western countries to speed up arms deliveries.

Ukrainian troops “are doing everything to stop the offensive, as much as they can, as long as there are enough heavy weapons, modern artillery – everything we asked and continue to ask our partners” , did he declare.

Zelenskiy claimed that Russia wanted to destroy all cities in Donbass, the region in eastern Ukraine that includes Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

“Every city is not an exaggeration,” he said. “All these ruins of once happy cities, the black traces of fires, the craters of explosions – that’s all Russia can give to its neighbors, to Europe, to the world.”

With reports from Reuters, AP, AFP and RFE/RL’s Ukrainian service

Oyster Ornament Exhibition | Iran oyster ornament Sun, 12 Jun 2022 07:41:13 +0000

The main objective of the exhibition is to introduce craftsmanship in the form of oyster ornaments to lovers of works of art that combine tradition and modernity by presenting objects in a prestigious and artistic place.

History of ornaments in Iran

Human beings have always felt the need for ornaments and jewelry and they have always welcomed and appreciated such luxury items in all times.

The story tells us that in the year 2000 BC, the inhabitants of the Iranian plateau started making jewelry and ornaments using colored beads. In this way, they showed their love for decorative objects and ornaments.

Archaeological studies show that the first ornaments used by humans were the teeth and claws of animals they had hunted.

Oyster ornament display

These objects were connected to each other with a cord of natural fibers and formed a new group of beads that looked very beautiful.

The oldest ornaments used by man are artificially drilled oysters. After the manufacture of metal ornaments and the use of gold, silver and precious stones, these ornaments were mainly used in the manufacture of royal necklaces, crowns, bracelets, weapons and war hardware for the kings, costumes and female half-crowns for dignitaries.

Median culture and civilization are known as the pioneers of art style. Following the rise of the Achaemenid Empire, ancient Eastern cultures and civilizations came closer than ever and this marked a turning point in history.

Oyster ornament display

Oyster ornaments

These molluscs have one or two oysters (valvia) which are made of lime. The shell of oysters is often made of silicate. Some species of oysters are edible. But in Iran, people mainly use them for their beads.

Oysters that produce pearls are categorized as bivalves and they are also used to make jewelry.

The island of Ceylon, the Red Sea, the Philippine Islands and Japan are home to the world’s major oyster mines. But the most important oyster mines are in the Persian Gulf.

Oyster processing techniques require sufficient know-how and skill because if their shell is so hard, they could also easily crack and break.

The most expensive oysters are black, pink and blue. However, whites and creams are more popular.

Oyster ornament display

Benefits of Using Oyster in Ornaments

Being a natural color palette, oysters emit most of the colored light in the world. Blue, green and gold are the colors that can be found in an oyster.

In stone therapy, oysters are used to soothe muscle aches and even heart and gastrointestinal disorders.

Exhibition of oyster ornaments at the Iranian Ministry of Cultural Heritage

An exhibition featuring traditional and handmade Iranian oyster ornaments is underway at Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

Read more:

An interview with the stars of Leila’s Brothers – The Upcoming Wed, 08 Jun 2022 19:55:59 +0000

“How to do a true portrait of life”: Interview with the stars of Leila’s Brothers

June 8, 2022


The third feature film by Iranian filmmaker Saeed Roustayi has been invited to the Official Competition of the 75e edition of the Cannes festival this year, where it won the FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize.

What set Leila’s brothers Distinctly apart from its co-contestants for the Palme d’Or was the stellar ensemble cast that breathed life into the complex family dynamics at the center of the film’s plot.

We had the opportunity to speak to three of the Protagonists: Taraneh Alidoosti, who plays the titular Leila, Navid Mohammadzadeh, who plays cerebral brother Alireza, and Payman Maadi, portraying his impulsive counterpart, Manoucher. During a brief conversation on a scenic beach promenade, the stars shared their thoughts on creating authentic performances and the difficulties for actors in Iran.

We just spoke to your manager and he said you rehearsed for several months. During this time, did you have any comments on your characters?

Navid Mohammadzadeh: We talked about the film for two, three years before shooting. So we knew what we were going to do – it was all there. Of course, when we work, we work as the director wants we at; he is built. When we shoot the film, everything comes to life and we bring the characters to life. It’s not like a robot – we become these characters, we’re not ourselves. He directs us, but we become Alireza, Leila and Manoucher.

Payman Maadi: I did three films with Navid, with Saeed Roustayi and, you know, all these characters were different. Coming to these characters is different – one character differs from another. As Navid said, we talked a lot about this movie before shooting. A year before, I was even thinking about this character, Manoucher, and I talked a lot with Saeed, who is a great friend of mine. The thing is, with those conversations, the role changed. So especially for my character, we had this revised version in the script after our conversations and thoughts together.

There is a small but interesting change in semantics between the French title and the international title (Leila and his brothers versus Leila’s brothers). Do you think Leila’s family was misogynistic towards her?

Taraneh Alidoosti: Believe it or not, Leila definitely thinks that way. She says it perfectly: when fighting with her mother, she says: “You are the person who loves all your sons more than your only daughter. You hate all the women in the world. This is actually Leila’s dialogue. And we see that just because she’s a girl, everything has been taken away from her – her opportunities, her courtship, everything. The emotional things that happened to her… she’s younger than a lot of them, but still manages to be a mother figure to them.

I think if she was one of the brothers, everything would have been different; everything would have been easier for her. In this case, if Leila was a boy, he would be a hero. But it’s only because she’s the girl that she has to fight alone to convince these four men she loves so deeply – she has to convince them of what’s right for them.

What do you think are the pros and cons of being an actor in Iran?

PM: There is a general answer to this question: for any actor in the world, there are definitely upsides, and there are so many downsides. We all know fame is always good. You have so many possibilities, to be famous and to be in art, to create… You live someone else’s life, it’s everyone’s dream – you want to be someone else and you can play.

There are bad things, like you can’t do a lot of things normal people do. It’s a general thing – American, French, whatever.

As an Iranian actor, there are issues that no other actor in the world would understand: we have to consider so many other things; we have to be creative in many ways; we have to think about how to imply this and that. There are many difficulties to overcome, especially for women. For example, I also work in the United States. I have worked in many other countries but they can’t because they can’t play without a hijab. It’s our advantage – I’m not proud of it; you know it’s not just for women. It’s just a specific problem. There are so many other problems.

NM: We have a lot of problems: the relationship between men and women in movies – we can’t touch each other. The woman has to wear the hijab, and when you’re here, you have to be very careful, walk together, walk with another woman – even with your wife, it’s difficult to have a normal relationship here.

We live in an area, politically, geographically, with many problems and that could be great because we deal with those problems and then we can just act. But… Budgets for actors or actresses in the world: ok you can have a big house everywhere and nobody talks about it. But in Iran when you work and even if you earn money, maybe you can’t buy a house, you know? But everyone will assume and say that we have money, that the actors have money like in other countries.

Then, for example, here you have an out-of-competition movie but it’s a Hollywood movie, and all the media will be on that. We’re from Iran and we’re in the Competition but we don’t get that kind of attention – even though you’re doing the same work as other artists and actors around the world. And we do a lot, but we don’t have the attention because it’s like in the world, they want to have the attention in some areas and not in others.

We were in Venice, we were in Berlin, we had Oscars, but do we have the same media publicity that a Korean film, for example, will get?

I have eight or nine international prizes, but this is the first time that I can come to the Cannes festival in Competition. Art should be universal and should have no borders. But, as you can see, regions have borders, and so art has borders.

In a press conference, when you have an Iranian film, you talk about socio-politics, economics, but not about the film. Look, I have to talk about kissing my wife on the red carpet at the press conference. It’s because we come from this region, so we have to talk about it at a press conference and not about the film.

I told you these things but, by the way, we will stay in Iran and we want to work in this cinema, in these halls. We want to be in this country because it is for our people; because when they see our films or our plays, they see that we don’t take orders…

TA: We don’t have the same narrative that the system wants – so that’s probably the only hope people have. They can be represented in their culture, through films and art, through artistic values.

NM: It’s a culture war and we are the targets. It really comes from a system that wants people to be in front of us and not next to us. We are of the people and work for the people but when you go to social media this system tries to drag you into a war [against] our people, and that is not what we want.

Wherever we are, we are actually very happy, of course. But all the time we are anxious: what to say and what to do? What word should we use?

Traditional Iranian cinema, that of Kiarostami, is very close to Italian neorealism in its way of working with non-professional actors. What do you think of the situation of Iranian cinema today, as professional actors?

PM: This genre and this style of cinema is my own ideal performance, and I can tell you that I myself follow in the footsteps of these non-professional actors. Part of my homework, when I’m researching to get to where I want to be as an actor, is to watch documentaries, to watch movies like that. It is therefore not a cinema of yesteryear and we are not the future of this cinema. This cinema still exists.

Mr. Kiarostami himself has always said that his ideal for casting is professional actors, who can act like the non-actors – “since I can’t find any, I always bring in the non-actors to do the performances.” “.

That’s what we’re trying to do. It’s about reality and, you know, it’s about authenticity. It must be pure, authentic. If we can do something like that, and you believe in it, we do the right thing.

It’s not us or Kiarostami. All over the world, acting is changing. No one today acts like Humphrey Bogart anymore. We’ve always loved him, and we’ve always loved Katherine Hepburn and all those classic actors, but today’s acting has changed.

I think our ideal is to copy people. I copy you, the way you sit and the way you listen. We don’t copy Bogart, we copy normal people. We have to find the right person and get closer to these guys. We owe it to Mr. Kierostami and Mr. [Asghar] Farhadi, and so many of these great filmmakers. This is what they have dedicated to cinema: how to make not only good films but how to make a true portrait of life.

Selina Sonderman

Leila’s brothers does not yet have a UK release date.

Read our review on Leila’s brothers here.

Read more reviews of our Cannes Film Festival 2022 coverage here.

For more information on the event, visit the Cannes Film Festival website here.

]]> Could seizing Russian assets help rebuild Ukraine? Mon, 06 Jun 2022 20:27:15 +0000

Inot 2011 Viktor Vekselberg, a metal magnate and Kremlin insider, visited the design team of the Tango, a $90 million yacht he had commissioned, to oversee its construction. His attention to detail proved his downfall. When Mr Vekselberg faced US sanctions in 2018, his overseas assets were frozen, but not Tango, which was held through a shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands. Then two shipyard engineers remembered the 2011 meeting and warned the FBI. A money transfer trail confirmed that Mr. Vekselberg did indeed own the Tango. On April 4 this year, Spanish police, acting at the request of the United States, seized the boat in Mallorca.

Netting the Tango was a coup for KleptoCapture, a task force set up by Joe Biden, the US President, to track the assets of oligarchs blacklisted by the West after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The EU captured some $7 billion in art, boats and property; Italy has seized a $700m superyacht believed to be linked to Vladimir Putin; America owns about $1 billion worth of ships and planes. Add to that the portion of the Russian central bank’s foreign exchange reserves that have been subject to Western sanctions, and nearly $400 billion in assets have been frozen.

According to the Kyiv School of Economics, the total economic damage to Ukraine so far could amount to $600 billion. For many, therefore, the idea of ​​seizing Russian assets, selling them and using the proceeds to compensate the victims of Mr. Putin’s assault seems irresistible. Charles Michel, the head of the European Council, for example, argued that “it is extremely important not only to freeze the assets, but also to allow their confiscation, to make them available for the reconstruction of Ukraine”. The idea has won support from politicians everywhere, from Canada to Germany. But there are two big obstacles to the plan: the practical obstacles to freezing assets and the legal obstacles to seizing them.

First, consider the practical aspects of the asset freeze. Central bank foreign exchange reserves are a relatively simple objective. More than half of Russian reserves are held in the West and have been subject to sanctions. So far, however, this giant reserve is “hampered”, not technically frozen: transactions with the central bank are prohibited, but its funds are not legally blocked. That means Western countries are one step closer to being able to seize the money, says Adam Smith of Gibson Dunn, a law firm. Ukraine’s allies may decide to take this step, as the United States did when it froze Afghan central bank reserves last year after the Taliban entered Kabul.

Private assets, on the other hand, are more difficult to target. Russia’s stock of foreign direct investment amounts to some 500 billion dollars, a colossal sum. But few things are prone to freezes, says Rachel Ziemba of cna, an American think tank. One problem is that it is difficult to know where the investment is located: its indicated destination is often Cyprus, which tends to be only an intermediate stage. Efforts have therefore focused more on individuals.

Here too, the search for assets is tricky. Anders Aslund, a former adviser to the Russian and Ukrainian governments, estimates that Russians under sanctions hold some $400 billion in assets overseas. But, he says, only $50 billion is frozen. One of the reasons for this mismatch is that, having been the target of sanctions following Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, the savviest oligarchs now hide their foreign assets behind 20-30 layers of shell companies. Some physical assets have been moved to friendlier territory. More than 100 Russian private jets landed in Dubai in the weeks following the invasion.

Moreover, while the sanctions are handed down by governments, enforcement falls to the private companies – from banks to marinas – that serve the wealthy. Not everyone has the expertise to see through tycoon obfuscation. Whoever freezes assets may also have to deal with them, further draining resources. The property must be maintained; yachts cost 10% of their value in annual maintenance.

However, all the difficulties of freezing pale in comparison to the difficulties of confiscation – the next step if Russian assets are to be used to rebuild Ukraine. In Western democracies, seizure of foreign property on the basis of nationality or political opinion is illegal. This does not mean that there are no precedents for the expropriation of public and private property. But they took place at extraordinary times and when certain strict criteria were met.

When it comes to individuals, the typical condition for forfeiture is a criminal conviction – not just for any crime, but for those deemed to warrant seizure. The confiscated assets must either be determined as an instrument of the crime or linked to the proceeds thereof. Such things can take years (and lots of money) to prove in court. It is unlikely that the obstacle will disappear anytime soon: a bill tabled in the we The Senate in April that would have granted the president the power to confiscate the assets of oligarchs was soundly rejected after the American Civil Liberties Union warned it would likely be struck down by a court.

Western leaders are therefore working instead to expand the list of crimes justifying seizure. In April, the Biden administration introduced a bill that would add evasion of sanctions and export controls to the list of offenses punishable by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which passed. in 1970 to suppress gangsters and allow ill-gotten gains to be seized. On May 25, the European Commission presented plans to make it easier for member countries to confiscate assets belonging to people suspected of violating sanctions.

Each proposal faces a tough political battle. Although most Republicans support the Russia bashing, few want to give Mr Biden a victory before the midterm elections in November. The EU will not have the power to tell member governments how to use the proceeds of liquidated assets. Some countries will be wary of confiscation: Germany may need to amend its constitution, which guarantees private property; Cyprus and Malta, which serve as hubs for Russian money, are unlikely to support seizures.

Confiscation of state assets, meanwhile, would force Western governments to designate Russia as a hostile power or call for regime change, which they have so far avoided doing. As a general rule, the doctrine of “sovereign immunity”, enshrined in a UN convention, protects foreign states from local lawsuits. But some laws, especially in America, allow the government to seize foreign state property without trial in certain cases.

One such law is the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (ieepa), which provides legal support to current freezes. It does not explicitly grant the president the power to “acquire” assets, i.e. change who owns them. But an exception, added in 2001, allows for some acquisition in cases where America is engaged in “armed hostilities” with another country. This was used by George W. Bush to seize assets from Iraq after he invaded the country in 2003. Today, however, America is at pains to point out that its arms shipments to Ukraine do not does not mean that it is in armed conflict with Russia. Saying otherwise could become “the real reason for the war”, notes Antonia Tzinova of Holland & Knight, another law firm.

Seizures can happen outside ieepa. The US executive branch has the power to transfer control of certain foreign state assets when it changes which it considers the legitimate government, as it did in 2019 when it confiscated Venezuelan assets after having recognized Juan Guaidó as president. But America has so far not called for Mr. Putin’s departure. In rare circumstances, Congress can also waive the immunity of sovereign states, allowing their assets to compensate plaintiffs in a national trial. Some of the frozen Afghan assets are currently being set aside while the courts hear from the families of the victims of the September 11 attacks. However, for this to apply to potential lawsuits against Russia, America would have to declare it a terrorist state. The EU, for its part, does not even address the issue of sovereign assets, points out Jan Dunin-Wasowicz of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, a law firm. Their mentions are obviously absent from his proposals.

International tribunals do not seem to be a fruitful route either. One possible forum is the International Court of Justice, but neither Russia nor Ukraine has consented to its jurisdiction, with very few exceptions, says Astrid Coracini of the University of Vienna. A newly created body, similar to a commission set up by the UN seeking reparations from Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait in 1991 would require Russian consent.

So creative ideas arose. One is to target the billions of dollars Russia receives every day for its energy exports, rather than its stock of assets. In a meeting of gIn May, 7 American countries proposed to levy a tariff on Russian oil, the product of which could then be sent to Ukraine. But reaching an agreement even within the EU will be a big challenge.

Another scheme would funnel Russian oil payments into escrow accounts at international banks, as happened with Iranian crude in the 2010s. The accumulated bounty, worth around $100 billion, is became available again for Iran after the lifting of sanctions in 2016; this time the West could demand that part be given to Ukraine. An insider suspects the idea is being considered in Washington. There is no guarantee, however, that Russia wouldn’t simply stop selling to the West. Meanwhile, applying the measure elsewhere would require violators to be threatened with “secondary” sanctions – something the West has so far avoided.

All of this suggests that attempts to seize Russian assets as the war rages on will struggle to avoid one of three pitfalls. Unless Western countries abandon the protections they offer foreign individuals and states, they risk spending many years in court. If they abandon them, however, the trust that underpins their economies and societies could be jeopardized. More creative ideas, meanwhile, could invite Russian retaliation and anger the rest of the world.

This does not mean that the Russian treasure will remain untouchable forever. Most reparations tend to be agreed after the war is over, often as a condition of unfreezing assets. Mr. Putin still seems far from contemplating peace. If he does succeed, however, letting funds go to Ukraine could be the price he will have to pay to see some of his own assets – including, possibly, a multimillion-dollar superyacht – to return to his place.

Easkey Britton’s modest jumpsuit inspired by Iranian women – The Irish Times Sun, 05 Jun 2022 05:00:00 +0000

Easkey Britton is a well-known Irish surfer, marine social scientist and author. In her book Saltwater in the Blood, there is a paragraph that begins: “A woman recently wrote to me from Iran: ‘I finally understood the most important skill for surfing – connecting with Mother Ocean. Believe it or not, it changed my whole being.

Britton was the first person to surf in Balochistan, a rural coastal province of Iran. She then set up the Be Like Water program, which helped spark a passion for surfing among Iranian women and girls who had never accessed the ocean before. Developed by British and Iranian premier triathlete Shirin Gerami, those first steps in the water are documented in the 2016 film Into the Sea.

The experience sparked a plan to develop a safe, culturally appropriate and functional surfwear solution for women. And after almost a decade in development, Cornish surfwear company Finisterre, who Britton works with as brand ambassador, have just launched the Seasuit for sale. Britton and the Finisterre team now know that the Seasuit has a much wider application than originally imagined.

“We got so many ideas from so many people who show a diversity of needs that weren’t being met – especially around body image in the water – from size to scars, tenderness in the sun to sex,” Britton says.

The Seasuit is a one-piece design with a crossover feature attached to an inner panel at the back, with an integrated bra. It can be worn over a wetsuit, bathing suit, or plain underneath, and features dolman sleeves and harem-style baggy pants for a loose yet concealed fit. The pattern of the fabric is designed to further conceal the contours of the body.

Britton says the surf industry has been slow to develop functional products beyond the bikini or cold-water suit – something she struggled with herself as a competitive surfer and conscious teenager of herself. “Surfing has a very exclusive image,” says Britton. “It’s very white, masculine and economically privileged. It’s starting to change, but women have also been hypersexualized in the surf media. . . and what women wear seems to be such a debating point for so many people.

The response to the Seasuit has been overwhelmingly positive, she says, especially from women in places like Sri Lanka and the Maldives where surfing is a relatively new sport. But wearing coveralls can also be controversial. In France, for example, the wearing of the burkini in public swimming pools has become a contentious and political issue.

“It’s a complex question,” says Britton. “But it’s about giving people the choice of how they want to be in the world, what they want to wear. Why not have the option of having something more modest, if that puts you more comfortable? In places where it is very restrictive, by not offering it [a product like the Seasuit] women never get the chance to go into the ocean. For me, it’s about helping people do what they want by giving them more choice.

Niamh O’Laoighre is Head of Product Development at Finisterre and one of the lead designers for the Seasuit project. Originally from Co Wexford, her family moved to the UK when she was 10. She leads a team of developers and apparel technologists who support products from the design phase to shipping the final garment.

Finisterre designs typically don’t involve as intense a consultation as the Seasuit, says O’Laoighre. “This product was very different. It was born out of a cultural need, so we had to take a lot of advice and consideration when making it. It had to be absolutely fit for purpose, and we had to make sure we were doing justice to the product and to the people who needed it.

“In Iran, where this product was born, there are a lot of limitations for women having access to water sports. The suit had to be culturally appropriate. But what was interesting is that while we started with a specific objective, by ticking a box, we also tick a lot of boxes for a lot of other people.

O’Laoighre says the response to the product has been eye-opening.

“A lot of people ask for it for reasons beyond culture — for example, women going through cancer treatment who are sensitive to sunlight and need to keep their body and scalp covered,” says O’ Laoighre.

The Finisterre Foundation has a “buy one, give one” program whereby for every combination purchased, one will be donated. Individual applicants and groups can register an application.

The company worked with Falmouth University, where a design for Synne Knutson’s garment was selected and then developed by Rachel Preston from Finisterre. A design by Ayesha King of Plymouth College of Art became the starting point for the print used on the final garment. “It’s rare that something students work on in college actually gets released to market, so it’s a fantastic achievement for students,” says O’Laoighre.

The Seasuit is made from Seaqual, a sustainable fabric made from marine and post-consumer plastic, with a global recycling standard certification. “There is a chain of custody that means that every moment of production, it must meet a certification – from the raw material to the spinner, from the dyer to the fabric itself”, explains O’Laoighre.

The design has been tested by surfers and cold water swimmers, and tweaked many times to ensure optimal performance. The costume initially had a built-in hood as well.

“During the development process, we realized that if you didn’t need the hood, it would be lying around in the water,” says O’Laoighre. “We then developed the suit to be compatible with a separate hijab. There are many culturally appropriate products, but I think the Seasuit is unique. It’s the kind of product you don’t even know you have. you miss him until you see him, so hopefully this will be a game changer in people’s lives.

The Seasuit can indeed be a game-changer for Arooj Shah. As a young Muslim woman living in Bradford, Yorkshire (with parents in Galway), she has been active since childhood – riding as a child, and later in college, kickboxing, archery, rock climbing and scuba diving.

Shah says it’s important for her to dress modestly when playing sports in mixed settings. While she never saw that as a barrier to the sport — indeed, it was a great conversation starter at times — it did come with some challenges. In scuba diving, for example, she had to cobble together a “Frankenstein outfit” out of leggings, a long-sleeved top and a baggy basketball kit. “It was a challenge to find something that I felt comfortable and modest enough in,” she says.

She says it takes a “certain amount of bravery” to get involved in water sports as a Muslim woman. “I can’t say that it was easy for me to join a scuba diving group and be the only person dressed from head to toe. It’s not malicious, but people watch because they’re curious, so it takes courage. The great thing about the suit is that it intentionally looks ‘fit for purpose’,” she laughs. “You don’t just look like you forgot your bathing suit.”

“To see all the elements come together so beautifully – the pattern, the design, the fabric and the ethos – is amazing,” Britton recalls. “It’s about creating a really positive impact for women and getting in the water and doing what we love.”

Passport to the Performance Art of Persian Calligraphy Fundraiser to be Held in Encinitas Thu, 02 Jun 2022 22:39:23 +0000

Dancer Kosat Abassi

(Mohtadi Mirak)

Encinitas Friends of the Arts, in partnership with the City of Encinitas, presents Passport to Persian Calligraphy Performance Art on Saturday, June 18 from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive in Encinitas. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $45 and Encinitas Friends of the Arts members are $40. For those who wish to join Encinitas Friends of the Arts as a member and also attend the event, the price is $50. Tickets can be purchased online at Tickets. All proceeds from the event go to public art and arts education in Encinitas.

Attendees will be transformed by musical performances by famous Iranian musicians based in San Diego and Orange County, conceptual traditional dance by the talented Kosar Abbasi, and masterful word paintings of Persian poet Rumi by the Los Angeles-based artist Mohtadi Mirak on the body of the canvas. , bringing the inner character of the subject to life. Light refreshments and Persian sweets will be served during the intermission.

For more information about Friends of the Arts of Encinitas, visit Follow on Instagram at encinitasfriendsofthearts.