Category Archives: Personalities

Iranian illustrator Hoda Hadadi wins gold at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards

Hoda Haddadi won the award for her illustrations for Drummer Girl, a book written by Pakistani-Canadian author Hiba Masood and published by Daybreak Press in the United States. The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. The contest is open to authors, illustrators, and publishers of children’s books written in English or Spanish for the North American market.

About Hoda Hadadi
Hadadi is an Iranian illustrator, poet and writer born in February 1977 in Tehran. She graduated with a M.A. in Graphic Design from Art University, Tehran. She teaches at the Association of Iranian Illustrators.

In 1998 Hoda Hadadi started writing and publishing her illustrations for magazines. Her first book as an illustrator was published in 1999 and her first book as a writer (My cloudy day -Shab Aviz) was published in 2000. Since then, she has illustrated more than fifty books published in Iran and around the world; in English i.e. Deep in the Sahara (Penguin Random House, 2013), Drummer Girl (Daybreak Press, 2016), A Rainbow in My Pocket (Tiny Owl, 2016) and forthcoming Just like me! (Tiny Owl, 2017).

Hadadi creates unique collages, balancing delicate materials and textures; she layers gauze papers, stitches, pencil and paint to create beautiful images. Depending on the text they take a more abstract or descriptive form. A Rainbow in My pocket, e.g., was a poem and required a more conceptual style.

In 2003 she directed and animated How is a good girl?, a 4-minute animation. The UNESCO calendar printed her art work in 2004. She has hold more than ten group exhibitions in Iran, India, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia, along solo exhibitions in Belgrade, Serbia (2009) and in Tehran (2007).

Other awards
New Horizons of Bologna (2010, Italy)
3rd Prize Teatrio Festival (2008, Italy)
Noma Encouragement Prize (2002 & 2008, Japan)
Defa-e Moghaddas Special Prize (2008, Tehran, Iran)
Grand Prix of Belgrade (2007, Serbia)
Golden Plaque of BIB (2007, Biennial of Illustration Bratislava, Slovakia)
1st Prize of Kanoon Book Festival (2005, Tehran, Iran)
2nd Prize KATHA (2005, India)

Sources: Moonbean Awards, Tehran Times, Tiny Owl Children’s Book Publisher, Wonderland Illustration Group, Saatchi Art, Facebook @hodihadadi, Twitter @hoda_hadadi, Instagram @ludlowgallery

Rio 2016: Zahra Nemati – Iranian archer

Born in April 1985 in Kerman, Iran, Nemati took up taekwondo when she was only eight. Ten years later, in 2003 she suffered a spinal injury during a road accident and both of her legs were paralyzed. After spending two months in the hospital, she returned home in a wheelchair. This would have been the end of a sporting career for most people, but not for Nemati.

On Friday August 5th, 2016, Nemati lead Iranian athletes as flag bearer during the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She is the only Iranian woman ever to have won a Paralympic gold medal and the only Iranian athlete who has qualified for both the 2016 Olympics and the 2016 Paralympics.

She is also the only Iranian athlete who has received the coveted Sport Accord’s Spirit of Sport Individual Award in 2013 and the first Iranian athlete to be named athlete of the year by the International Olympics Committee.

Nevertheless, she is not the first woman from Iran to participate at the Olympic games as flag bearer, as stated in many news articles. In fact, in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics, sports shooter Lida Fariman was the first woman to lead Iran’s contingent. At the time, Fariman was the first woman from Iran to participate at the Olympics since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

In 2008, at the Beijing Olympics, rower Homa Hosseini (women’s single sculls) also led the Iranian delegation, as well as alpine skier Marjan Kalhor (slalom and giant slalom); she was Iran’s flag bearer in 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Related article:
The Guardian | Trail-blazer Zahra Nemati wins hearts and minds with stirring effort in archery

I am posting daily updates on Iranian athletes’ performances and events at Rio 2016 Olympics here: The other Iran | Iran in Rio 2016

Sources: IranWire, Hindustan TimesBUSTLE, NBC Olympics, NBC News, worldarchery.org

Marcos Grigorian’s “Earthworks” on display in Tehran

Dastan +2 is hosting “Earth Works” by Iranian-Armenian artist Marcos Grigorian. The exhibition will be open from June 10th to July, 2nd.

Marcos (better known as Marco) Grigorian was an Iranian-Armenian artist, actor, teacher, gallery owner, and collector who played a pioneering role in the development of Iranian modern art. As a modernist pop artist, he turned to ordinary objects and popular ethnic forms and approaches. He used ethnic food such as “nan sangak” and “abghousht” to evoke authenticity in his work. Grigorian was a trend setter in experimenting with Earth Art in Iran.

Other posts on Iranian Armenians: https://theotheriran.com/tag/armenian/

Biography
Grigorian was born in Kropotkin, Russia in 1925, to an Armenian family from Kars who had fled that city when it was captured by Turkey in 1920. The family moved to Iran when Grigorian was five, living first in Tabriz, then Tehran and settling later in Julfa, the Armenian district of Isfahan. In 1940 his family moved back to Tehran where he attended Alborz College and later Kamal-al-Molk Art School in 1948.

After finishing pre-university education in Iran, in 1950, Grigorian went to Rome, and enrolled at the Academia di Belle Arti. He studied with cubist sculptor Roberto Melli (1885-1958). Upon graduation in 1954, he returned to Iran and opened Gallery Esthetique, one of the first modern galleries in Tehran.

In 1958, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, he organized the first Tehran Biennial. Grigorian was also an influential teacher at the Fine Arts Academy, where he disseminated his enthusiasm for local popular culture, including coffee-house paintings, a type of folk art named after the locations in which they were often displayed.

In 1959, after two years of intensive work, Grigorian completed a succession of enormous murals centering on the topic of the Holocaust. During the same period, he started applying dirt to the center of his canvases. This became the starting point of his celebrated “Earthworks Series”.

In 1960 he started acting in several Iranian films as Gregory Mark. An energetic and talented performer, he played villains in many movies, soon specializing in anti-hero roles and conspicuously contrary characters.

After moving to the USA in 1962 Grigorian started a new phase in his artistic career. He worked and lived in New York until 1970, when he returned to Tehran and joined the Faculty of Fine Arts at Tehran University. Grigorian left Iran in 1977.

In 1980 he returned to New York and established Arshile Gorky Gallery, named after the Armenian abstract expressionist painter who committed suicide in the U.S.A. in 1948. There he exhibited the works of Iranian and Armenian artists for several years.

In 1986 Grigorian lost his daughter to a massive heart attack. The tragedy caused a shift in Grigorian’s entire perspective and artistic priorities. He immersed himself in his other passion, that of Armenian folk art and rug weaving. He later donated 5,000 of his artworks to the government of Armenia.

In 1993 established the “Sabrina Near East Museum of Yerevan”, where he housed his own works and exquisite collection. Known as the Middle East Museum, the Museum displays 2,600 exhibits containing works of Russian, European and Middle Eastern applied arts. In particular the Persian Section is unique. Persian Pre-Islamic Zoroastrian culture, Islamic culture, Ghadjarac art is on display as well.

Some of his works are now on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kerman, and the National Gallery of Armenia. Grigorian died on August 2007 in Yerevan, Armenia.

Sources: dastan+2, Facebook | Dastan’s Basement, HonarOnline, Encyclopaedia Iranica | Grigorian, Marcos, Wikipedia | Marcos Grigorian, armeniainfo.am

Iranian documentary wins Amnesty International Film Prize

Mehrdad Oskouei’s ‘Starless Dreams’ (Royahaye Dame Sobh) along with ‘Fuocoammare’ (Fire at Sea) by Gianfranco Rosi have won the Amnesty International Film Prize at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. Rosi’s documentary film about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean off the Italian island of Lampedusa, won also the Golden Bear prize for Best Film.

Oskouei, one of Iran’s best documentary filmmakers, explores in ‘Starless Dreams’ the anguish and joys of girls in a juvenile correctional facility on the outskirts of Tehran. His small, all-male crew spent 20 days talking to the young women who gave them surprising access to their lives and feelings. The film won in Iran the Best Documentary Director Award at the 34th Fajr Film Festival earlier this year.

The German branch of Amnesty International has awarded the Amnesty International Film Prize for the first time at the Berlinale 2005. The aim of the prize is to draw the attention of audiences and representatives of the film industry to the theme of human rights and encourage filmmakers to tackle this topic. German actress Meret Becker, Swiss film maker Dani Levy and Markus Beeko, Director of Campaigns and Communications for Amnesty International Germany were the members of this independent jury at the Berlinale 2016.

Iranian filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei (1st R) and Italian director Gianfranco Rosi (2nd L) with Jury members Dani Levy (1st L) and Meret Becker (2nd R) in Berlin - Feb 20, 2016. Photo credits: Henning Schacht / Amnesty International

Iranian filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei (1st R) and Italian director Gianfranco Rosi (2nd L) with Jury members Dani Levy (1st L) and Meret Becker (2nd R) in Berlin – Feb 20, 2016. Photo credits: Henning Schacht / Amnesty International

About Mehrdad Oskouei
Oskouei, an independent producer, filmmaker, photographer and researcher, was born in Tehran, Iran in 1969. He has a B.A. in film direction from the University of Arts, starting in the theatre in 1981 and the film world in 1988. In 2010, Oskouei received the Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands.

Sources: Tavoos Online, Berlinale, Hollywod Reporter, Reuters, Wikipedia | Starless Dreams, Fajr Film Festival (in Persian)

Iranian artist Pariyoush Ganji honored with Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun

Iranian artist Pariyoush Ganji has been honored with the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government. She received the “3rd Class, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon Order of the Rising Sun” at the Embassy of Japan in Tehran.

The 70-year old artist was commissioned by the Japan Foundation to conduct research in the city of Kyoto on Sassanid-era designs, which had been transferred via the Silk Road and appeared on the kimono, the traditional Japanese female costume, and the belt obi.

In addition, Ganji, who has been teaching in Iranian art universities, has long promoted the Japanese art of sumie (Japanese black ink painting) and shoi (traditional Japanese architecture) in her classes. She has had a big share in introducing and promoting Japanese art in Iran and has also helped elevate the artistic exchanges between Iran and Japan.

The Japanese government honored 89 foreign nationals on November 3rd, 2015. Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami also received the Order of the Rising Sun in 2013.

The Order of the Rising Sun was established by Emperor Meiji of Japan in 1875 and was awarded in nine classes until 2003. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun. The design of the Rising Sun symbolizes energy as powerful as the rising sun in parallel with the “rising sun” concept of Japan (“Land of the Rising Sun”).

The order is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare or preservation of the environment.

Sources: Tavoos Online, Embassy of Japan in Iran, Honar Online I, Honar Online II, Wikipedia | Order of the Rising Sun

‘Curriculum Mortis’ by Iranian artist Barbad Golshiri in Tehran

Aaran Gallery hosted one of Barbad Golshiri’s versions of ‘Curriculum Mortis’, that portrays concepts related to death and graveyards.

“I am a taphographer [1], I make grave markers, for the past fifteen years I take pictures of graves and burials and I make frottages on epitaphs of those eliminated only to distribute them. I have also made cenotaphs [2]. Memorials too, for the dead and the living. All these frame Curriculum Mortis. It is true to say that Curriculum Mortis  is not a series. I cannot make series.” […]
– Barbad Golshiri on the catalogue of the exhibition

About Barbad Golshiri
Barbad Golshiri is an Iranian contemporary artist, born in 1982 in Tehran, Iran. His father was Houshang Golshiri, a famous Iranian writer. He studied painting at The School of Art and Architecture, Azad University, Tehran. He has worked both as a media artist and a critic. He works with video, digital media, installation, photography, the internet, graphic novels and Lettrism. He won the third prize of the 6th Tehran Contemporary Painting Biennial, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. (More information: Wikipedia | Barbad Golshiri)

To read the review of the New York Times (Sep 19th, 2013) of one of Barbad Golshiri’s versions of ‘Curriculum Mortis’ click here.

Comments
[1] Tapographer: A tapographer is a copier of tombstones.
[2] Cenotaph: A cenotaph is an “empty tomb” or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere.

Sources: Honar Online, Instagram @aarangallerytehran, tandismag.com, Tehran Times, Aaran Gallery, Wikipedia | Barbad Golshiri, Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, Wikipedia | Cenotaph

‘Distant memories’ by Iranian artist Tara Behbahani in Tehran (Photos)

Golestan Gallery hosted ‘Distant memories’, a painting exhibition by Tara Behbahani.

Tara Behbahani (born 1983) has been learning tricks and techniques of sculpturing with her mother, and painting with her father, who himself is one of the most famous contemporary artists, Taha Behbahani, since early childhood. She has been studied Art and Mathematics along side each other and after completing her university studies in Mathematics she started to research the relationship between art and geometry in Eastern Art.

She has participated in several exhibitions in Iran and abroad and has written about Islamic and Eastern Art in various magazines. For the past 12 years she has been teaching painting to youth and children.

Sources: tarabehbahani.com, mopcap.com, Honar Online, Instagram @tarabehbahani, Golestan Gallery

‘Emigrants’ by Iranian artist Shirin Ettehadieh in Tehran (Photos)

Shirin Gallery hosted ‘Emigrants that carry away their memories’, a painting exhibition by Shirin Ettehadieh.

Autumn is the season of reminiscence, this time my paintings are the memory of flowers and the emigrants that carry away the memory of their homeland.
– Shirin Ettehadieh, Autumn 2015

Shirin Ettehadieh studied at École du Louvre in Paris. She has held exhibitions in France, Greece, the Netherlands and Switzerland, as well as numerous solo and group exhibitions in Iran.

Shirin Ettehadieh on Facebook, website

Sources: 360cities.net, Honar Online, Instagram @shiringallerytehran

Street Art in Iran: Mehdi Ghadyanloo (Photos & Video)

Iranian Mehdi Ghadyanloo’s canvas is the skyline. His illusions create windows to other — more magical — worlds. Seeking to combine minimalist architectural spaces with surreal scenes from another universe, he has painted over 100 murals across the Iranian capital, giving unsuspecting drivers good reason to do a double take, as the fantasy blends in with the real.

Like exaggerated dream sequences, his images portray gravity-defying figures and portholes to other dimensions, all from altered perspectives that meld sky and structure.

About Mehdi Ghadyanloo
Mehdi Ghadyanloo is an Iranian painter, born 1980 in Karaj, Iran. He moved to the capital to study at Tehran University’s College of Fine Arts. He graduated with a BA in 2005 and subsequently earned a MA in film studies from Tehran’s Teachers College (Tarbiyat-e Modarres).

Known primarily for his gigantic trempe l’oeil [1] style murals in central Tehran, Ghadyanloo also creates small scale paintings, with surreal and minimalistic themes. Through his works, Ghadyanloo opens a window into the mood of life in Iran today. At the same time, he provides an autobiographical perspective, portraying the landscapes of his youth, his memories of Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), and his life experience in the Islamic Republic.

In 2015 he visited London for an exhibition of his “indoor” paintings, and painted murals there also, including one in Shoreditch.

A report from CNN about Mehdi Ghadyanloo:

Related articles:
1. The Guardian | Tehran’s answer to Banksy: Mehdi Ghadyanloo hits Britain,
2. Howard Griffin Gallery | Artists | Mehdi Ghadyanloo
3. Urban Outfitters Blog | Artist of the week: Mehdi Ghadyanloo
4. Facelifting Tehran | One Wall at a Time: Interview with Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Comments
[1] trompe-l’oeil: Art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.

Mehdi Ghadyanloo on Facebook, Bēhance, Instagram and Twitter

Sources: CNN, Huffington Post, Howard Griffin Prints, Wikipedia | Mehdi Ghadyanloo, The Guardian, Facebook | Blue Sky Painters, Bēhance, fubiz.net, yourmiddleeast.com, Wikipedia | Trompe-l’oeil

Zohreh Abdollah-Khani: Iranian ice climber (Photos)

Abdollah Khani, Zohreh - Iranian ice climber - First Iranian female to win an international ice climbing medal 0Zohreh Abdollah Khani, born on September 30th, 1984 in Karaj, Iran. She is currently Iran’s ice climbing champion and Asia’s bronze medal holder. She became the first female ice climber to win a medal for Iran at an international venue, when she finished third in Women Speed at the 2014 UIAA Ice Climbing Asian Championship in Cheongsong, South Korea.

The photo gallery was taken during Abdollah Khani’s training by reporters of Borna News.

Below a video of Zohreh Abdollah Khani

Other posts about great Iranian women: click here

Sources: Borna News | Photos, everest51.blogspot.de, Ice Climbing World Cup | Women Speed Asia 2014, ISNA-Alborz | News

Iranian ‘Mehr Theatre Group’ is in Europe performing its new play ‘Hearing’

The Mehr Theatre Group, an Iranian troupe led by director/writer Amir-Reza Kuhestani, will be performing the play Hearing in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and France. The show centers on events happening in a girls’ dormitory.

Hearing premiered at Tehran’s City Theater in July before going on stage in Zurich, Switzerland at the Zürcher Theater Spektakel. They are attending the Noorderzon Festival in Groningen, the Netherlands with performances on August 25th and August 26th.

The troupe will next return to Geneva, Switzerland to perform Hearing on August 29th and August 31st at the La Bâtie, a festival of theater performances and film screenings. In September they will be heading to Frankfurt, Germany and Marseille, France. Full schedule: Mehr Theatre Group | Tour dates

About Hearing (Synopsis)
The girls’ dormitory was always like an unattainable castle. […] After the entrance door, a female world begun in which the entree of any man was prohibited. […] Now, presume that in a situation like this, one day, a girl reported that she had heard a man in one of the rooms. This would be the starting point of the performance.
More about the show: Mehr Theatre Group | Hearing

About Mehr Theatre Group
Mehr Theatre Group was created in 1996. The aim was to create a new type of theater — far from the traditional Iranian theater — based on new stage direction and a new acting style influenced by film. At first, Amir Reza Koohestani joined the Mehr Theatre Group to participate in their acting workshop, but after 6 months of the workshop they decided to produce theater productions based on their training. Since Amir was the only one with writing background he dedicated his time to write for the theater. […] The Mehr Theatre Group is today one of the most well known Iranian theater companies in Iran and has gained international acclaim with successful performances across the world. More about the troupe: Mehr Theatre Group

Below, a trailer of Timeloss, their last work before Hearing, also presented at the Under The Radar Film Festival in New York, USA. Other trailers: Mehr Theatre Group | Videos

About Amir Reza Koohestani
Amir Reza Koohestani is one of Iran’s most successful and prolific playwright-directors. With his third play, Dance on Glasses (2001), in tour for four years, Amir Reza Koohestani gained international notoriety and found the support of several European theatrical artistic directors and festivals. In February 2012, the movie Modest Reception, which script was co-written by Koohestani and Mani Haghighi – actor and film director – wins the Netpac Award at the Berlin International Film Festival 2012. He is the first director to win two consecutive awards for the “Best theatre production of the year” in Iran (Ivanov, 2011 and The Fourth Wall, 2012). More about him: Mehr Theatre Group | Amir Reza Koohestani

Related articles: The other Iran | Theater

Sources: Tehran Times | Art Desk, Mehr Theatre Group

Taha Zaker: Iranian artist wins Graphis gold award

“Contemporary Musicians”, the poster series by Iranian graphic designer Taha Zaker received the gold award of the Graphis Poster Annual 2016. The collection including seven posters by Zaker has been produced in Tehran Studio, and the winners were announced by the jury late July.

Graphis is a Zurich-based international journal of visual communication, the first edition of which was published in 1944. Graphis is committed to presenting and promoting the work of exceptional talent in graphic design, advertising, photography and art/illustration.

About Taha Zaker
Born in 1987, Zaker is a graduate of graphic design. He is the art director and graphic designer at Tehran Studio. He has also produced several documentaries and experimental films. He has also designed the poster of the 33rd Fajr International Film Festival and several other movies such aa “I Am Not Angry”, “Rainy Day”, and “Parviz”.

Sources: Tehran Times, Mehr News, Graphis.com

Behnaz Shafiei: Iranian professional road racer

In the dusty hills of Hashtgerd, some 40 miles west of Tehran, a rider on a souped-up bike comes roaring along a rough-and-ready race track, braving steep jumps and dangerous turns. With a bright orange and black biker suit and helmet, the motorcyclist looks just like any other, until the helmet comes off. The rider is a woman.

“When people find that out, they stop and say damet-garm [Persian for ‘right on’],” Behnaz Shafiei told the Guardian. She feels welcome in an otherwise all-male motorcycling club, where she practises three times a week: “They offer help when I tow my bike with the car or when I run into a technical problem.”

The 26-year-old is among the first group of female motorcyclists in Iran to have recently obtained official permission to practise on off-road circuits, and the one and only Iranian female rider to have done professional road racing.

Women in Iran are still banned from riding a motorbike in public, and are not issued licences, although they are allowed to take part in other sports, from martial arts to car rallies. But things are beginning to change. Shafiei’s story has attracted a great deal of interest at home. A leading national newspaper recently photographed her at play and state-run television has broadcast an interview with her. Shafiei is hopeful that soon she will also be allowed to compete.

Men and women alike rub their eyes in disbelief when they see her on a motorbike, Shafiei said, but she added that reactions were always positive. “I’ve never seen a bad reaction to what I do. People here are fascinated when they see a woman doing such a physically demanding sport,” she said. “Everyone has something affirmative to say. Women wave hands and say well done, you are brave. There are people who can’t believe a woman can ride a motorbike but they’re generally thrilled and feel very proud.”

Shafiei, who was born and raised in Karaj, near Tehran, found her passion for motorcycling at the age of 15 while on holiday with her family in Zanjan province. “There was this young woman in a village there who rode a 125cc urban motorbike to travel between houses, like one used by the postman,” she recalled. “I like that a lot and told myself that I want to ride a motorbike too and in fact I learned how to ride a motorcycle for the first time during my stay there.”

With support from her family, especially her mother, Shafiei dabbled in motorcycling for a few years before pursuing the sport professionally. “I used to borrow my brother’s bike and ride in the city stealthily. It was such fun,” she said.

She saved money from her work as an accountant and bought her first bike, an Apache 180cc, four years ago. A couple of years later she went to a track race in northern Karaj to have a look. Male riders there, she said, encouraged her to come along regularly and offered to teach her what they knew.

These days, Shafiei has changed her bike to a 2012 Suzuki 250cc, focusing all her attention on motocross, but a ban on women riding in official race tracks means she can only practise in rudimentary clubs such as the one in Hashtgerd, where medical facilities are not available.

“We don’t have a single ambulance in the track. It’s an expensive sport and we have no sponsors. If someone has an injury, it might get even worse by the time the rider is taken to the hospital,” she said. […] “I want to be part of my own country’s team, I don’t want to go abroad. I want to bring pride to Iran and show that Iranian women can do this sport too.” She added: “Outside, Iran is depicted differently. We want to change that view. People ask if women are allowed to drive in Iran. Of course they are.”

Shafiei says she looks up to Laleh Seddigh, Iran’s most famous female car race driver, nicknamed “little Schumacher”, whose struggle to become the country’s first woman champion was the subject of a BBC documentary. “Laleh Seddigh is my idol, I hope that one day we will be allowed to race like her,” Shafiei said.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, has called for gender equality since taking power and hopes are high, although he has yet to deliver on his promises. In 2013, he tweeted in support of Shirin Gerami, the first Iranian female triathlete to take part in a world championship.

Fariba Javanmardi, the deputy head of Iran’s motorcycle and automobile federation, speaking to the country’s SNN student news agency this month, said: “Culture has not been promoted in this field and many are opposed to women riding on motorbikes. At the moment, you can’t imagine a women riding on a motorbike in the streets. But we hope that the issue of their licences would be resolved. We are working on it.”

Shafiei was confident Javanmardi and her colleagues were doing all they could to help. She said: “The restrictions in Iran are problematic for us. My wish is that this sport becomes free for women.”

Related article:  Noora Naraghi- Iran’s female Motocross champion

Sources: The Guardian, Dailydot, Jamejamonline, Instagram | Behnaz Shafiei

Iranian painter Abolghassem Saidi opens first solo exhibition in Iran

The newly-founded Tehran gallery “Shahrivar” is currently hosting an exhibition of 30 artworks by Abolghassem Saidi. The exhibition showcases 26 paintings which belong to his personal collection and the other four which are owned by private collectors.

On view since June 12, Abolghassem Saidi’s first solo exhibition in Iran, will run for one month at “Shahrivar” gallery: No. 9, Hormoz impasse, North Khazar Street, Elahieh, Tehran.

About Abolghassem Saidi
Abolghassem Saidi (August 15th, 1926 in Arak, Iran) graduated from the School of Fine Arts, Paris (École des Beaux-Arts de Paris) in 1956, where he still lives and works. He exhibited at the Salon de la jeune peinture (1954-66). Then, he worked in Iran for the Festival of Shiraz and after travelled to the United States. Awarded with the prize of the Salon of the Jeune Peinture (1959), the prize of the Biennale of Tehran (1960, 1986) and the prize of Monte-Carlo (1993). The largest concentration of his works can now be seen in the Contemporary Museum of London, at University of Shiraz, at the airport of Tehran and at the Saderat Bank of London.

Related pages: Facebook | Abolghassem Saidi

Sources: Tavoos Online | News, honaronline.ir | Featured, Gros & Delettrez

Iranian actress’ Motamed-Arya portrait displayed at UN exhibit in New York (Photos)

A portrait of the acclaimed Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya is displayed besides 15 international figures at a multimedia exhibition titled ‘The Transformative Power of Art’ at the UN Exhibits in New York. The exhibition features sculptures and large fresco portraits of artists who have stood up for human rights.

Motamed-Arya, 54, is involved in humanitarian activities and helps raise funds for different charities. Her latest gesture is putting up her Crystal Simorgh award, presented to her for the role of best actress in ‘Gilaneh’ in 2005, on sale to support people deprived of a home in Iran. She has been nominated nine times for the best actress award at the Fajr International Film Festival and won the Crystal Simorgh four times. She had a role in Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’ celebrated film ‘The Tales’ and played the lead character in ‘Nabaat’, Azerbaijan’s nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 2014 Academy Awards.

The objective of the exhibition – curated by painter and sculptor Fabrizio Ruggiero – is to demonstrate that art creates bridges where politics divide. It takes place under the United Nations “2015: Time for Global Action” campaign, primarily destined to raise awareness about climate change and our fragile ecosystems.

The sculptures are made of many natural elements and the 16 accompanying portraits represent people from all continents who, during their lifetime, contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we think. The men and women who are represented never lost sight of the most vulnerable.

They are: Pierre-Claver Akendengué (Gabon), Maya Angelou (USA), Joan Baez (USA), Audrey Hepburn (UK), Vassily Kandinsky (Russia), Umm Kulthum (Egypt), Gong Li (China), Miriam Makeba (South Africa), Edgar Morin (France), Fatemeh Motamed-Arya (Iran), Okot p’Bitek (Uganda), Satyajit Ray (India), Sebastião Salgado (Brazil), Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (Kenya), and Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan).

Sources: IRNA | News, United Nations | News

Iran’s ‘Cloudy Children’ from Reza Fahimi is the Grand Prix winner at ‘SSFF and Asia’

Iranian filmmaker Reza Fahimi’s Cloudy Children emerged as the big winner at the Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia (SSFF & ASIA) 2015, receiving the Grand Prix of the event that was held in Tokyo and Yokohama from June 4 to 14.

Set in a central Iranian village, the film narrates the story of two students fighting over things that they could never have, and in the end they share everything that does not belong to them.

In 2004, the festival was officially accredited by the Academy Awards, making the festival Grand Prix winner eligible for nomination in the short film category of the academy.

About Reza Fahimi
Reza Fahimi, born 1987 in Iran, is a scriptwriter and a director. He studied filmmaking at the Soore Art University of Tehran, with Directing as a major. Cloudy Children is his second short film. It was awarded Best Film, Best Direction (Fiction Film) and Best Screenplay at Tehran International Short Film Festival, 2014, Iran.

Sources: Tehran Times | News, shortshorts.org | Program 2015 | Cloudy Children, tehranisff.ir | 31st TISFF Announces Winners in National Competition Section

Photos: Exhibit at Laleh Gallery, Tehran, in memory of Iranian-Assyrian artist Hannibal Alkhas

Hannibal Alkhas (1930 – 2010) was a Christian Iranian sculptor, painter and author that lived in the US as well as in Iran. His work is deeply inspired by the ancient bas-reliefs and stone sculptures of Ancient Assyria, Babylon and Daric-Persia.

Alkhas’ students are displaying their latest works in an exhibit being held in memory of the artist. It will run until June 21 at Laleh Gallery in Tehran.

The exhibit showcases works by artists like Reza Bangiz, Bahram Dabiri, Rozita Sharafjahan, Taraneh Sadeghian, Niloufar Ghaderinejad, Ahmad Vakili, Ali Nedaee, Nasser Mohammadi, Masoud Saadeddin, Katayoun Moghaddam, Hadi ziaeddini, Hamed Sahihi, and others.

Sources: Honaronline.ir | Featured, Tavoos Art Magazine | News

Hannibal Alkhas: Christian Iranian painter, sculptor and author (Photos)

Hannibal Alkhas (1930 – 2010) was a Christian Iranian sculptor, painter and author. His work is deeply inspired by the ancient bas-reliefs and stone sculptures of Ancient Assyria, Babylon and Daric-Persia.

Alkhas was born in 1930 in Kermanshah, Iran, and died in California on Sept. 14, 2010. His father was Assyrian writer Rabi Adai Alkhas and his uncle, John Alkhas, is one of the most famous Assyrian poets in the 20th century.

After spending his childhood and teenage years in Kermanshah, Ahwaz and Tehran, Hannibal Alkhas moved in 1951 to the United States and studied philosophy for three years at Loyola University of Chicago, Illinois. In 1958 he received his Masters of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago.

In 1959, after the death of his father he returned to Iran and began to teach painting, drawing, and art history at The Tehran School of Fine Arts”. During this time he established the successful “Gilgamesh” gallery, the first modern art gallery in Iran where aspiring young artists were introduced.

In 1963 he returned to the United States and taught at “Monticello College” in Illinois where he became the chairman of the art department. In 1969 Alkhas again returned to Iran and spent the next eleven years teaching at Tehran University.

In 1980, back in the United States where he stayed for the next twelve years he taught art at the Assyrian American Civic Club in Turlock, private colleges, and at the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles.

From 1992 on, he taught at diferent campuses of the Azad Isalmic University of Iran while he also taught painting privately and worked as an art critic writer in various Iranian magazines. His painting style sought to vitalize the historic processes within the passing moment, using past and present separately and simultaneously whether through content or form, he mixed expressions from six thousand years ago, today and the future.

Alkhas also illustrated book covers and translated Hafez’ lyrics into Assyrian. Before his death he was working on the completion of his Assyrian reproduction of the tragedy of Rustam and Sohrab, which was to have a happy ending. He hold a number of one-man shows, group art exhibitions, and traveling exhibitions in Southern Iran, South Korea, Europe, Canada, Australia, Cyprus and Israel. Aside from being displayed in his own gallery, his paintings are featured in the Fine Arts Museum and Gallery of Modern Art in Tehran and the Helena d’ Museum in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Iran Chamber Society | Visual Arts | Hannibal Alkhas, Payvand News of Iran | Sculptor and painter Hannibal Alkhas dies at 80, Mash Gallery | Artists | Hannibal Alkhas, Hannibal Alkhas

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: First Iranian artist to have a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim, New York

Farmanfarmaian, now 92, is a renowned Iranian visual artist known for her geometric style and mirror sculptures. She became the first Iranian artist to have her work featured in a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim; a retrospective, spanning four decades of work: “Infinite Possibility: Mirror Works and Drawings 1974–2014”, organized by the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal.

In 2011, Vogue — where she worked early on as a freelance illustrator — featured her when she was the subject of an art book. “Whatever time I have left, I want to make art,” she said in the Vogue interview. “And I hope it will be worthwhile to see it.”

Contemporary Iranian art has a decades-long history in the West — though artists are now exhibiting their work with increasing frequency in the United States and Europe.

From September 2013 to January 2014, the Asia Society in New York exhibited Iran Modern. The show featured a diverse body of work from numerous artists that spanned the three decades leading up to the revolution of 1979.

In January and February of this year, the Taymour Grahne Gallery presented Traveling Demons, a collection of colorful and haunting pieces by Malekeh Nayiny, who was born in Tehran and currently lives in Paris.

And while Farmanfarmaian’s work was at the Guggenheim, the works of famed sculptor Parviz Tanavoli was on display at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. Like Farmanfarmaian, Tanavoli is also the first Iranian artist to have a solo show at that space.

Shiva Balaghi co-curated the Tanavoli exhibition, and is a visiting scholar in Middle Eastern studies at Brown University. As one of the few academics in the country who specializes in Middle Eastern art history, Balaghi is quick to debunk notions of an Iranian art renaissance in the U.S., despite its recent popularity in the American art world.

“A reemergence is not really true,” she told BuzzFeed News. “The fact that there’s a growing interest in the West is key, not that this art hasn’t been made before.” Balaghi’s theory is that art institutions are beginning to look beyond Iran’s current political climate and explore the country through its art.

“It’s almost like museums are taking on this cultural diplomacy role,” she said. “There’s a cultural life in that country that continues and flourishes, one that doesn’t have to do with nuclear negotiations.”

Related articles to Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian:
Iranian Roots | Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian – Iranian Artist (Bio)
The Huffington Post | 90-Year-Old Iranian Artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian Gets Her First Comprehensive U.S. Exhibition
The Guardian | Infinite Possibility: Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Source: BuzzFeed News | This Iranian Artist Is Making History At The Guggenheim

Andranik Teymourian – first Christian to lead Iran’s football team as its permanent captain

The 32-year-old midfielder, known as Ando – or Samurai, due to his hairstyle – is not shy of showing his Christianity, often crossing himself on the field. In April 2015, Teymourian, who has played for Bolton Wanderers and Fulham, became the first Christian to lead Iran’s football team as its permanent captain. His first appearance as captain of the national team was however on 18 May 2014, when Teymourian captained Iran in the match against Belarus. In the same year he was named “Iranian footballer of the year”.

“I’m happy that as a Christian I play in a Muslim team,” he said in a recent interview. “I have Armenian roots but I hold the Iranian passport and I’m proud of that, I hold my flag high. I hope I can enhance the good reputation of Armenian people in Iran.”

Iran's midfielder Andranik Teymourian gestures during the friendly football match Iran vs Belarus in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2014 on May 18, 2014 in Kapfenberg, Austria. AFP PHOTO / SAMUEL KUBANI (Photo credit should read SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Ethnic Armenians make up the majority of Iran’s estimated 300,000 Christians. Armenians are fully integrated in Iranian society, from the musician Loris Tjeknavorian to Sombat Hacoupian, who founded one of the country’s most famous men’s clothing brands and is now a household name.

Although Islam is Iran’s official religion, it recognises Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians as accepted religious minorities. They are permitted their house of worship and usual religious services, and have reserved seats in the Iranian parliament. In a country where alcohol and pigmeat are forbidden, Christians are allowed to distil booze and eat pork.

There are at least 600 churches in Iran, including the sixth-century St Mary Church of Tabriz, mentioned by Marco Polo in his travel book. The adjacent province of West Azerbaijan boasts the ancient St Thaddeus Monastery, a Unesco world heritage site.

All minorities related posts on this blog: The other Iran | Minorities (with lots of interesting photos)

Read more: The Guardian , wikipedia | Andranik Teymourian

Hamid Saeid: Iranian musician

Since his Internet hit, “Bad Shans” (hard luck), Hamid Saeid has become one of the best-known Iranian musicians with African roots. He’s traveled by motorbike across the province of Hormozgan, which is situated in the South of the country on the Persian Gulf, in order to realize his dream; to organize a concert with the best black musicians in the country. The documentary Dingomaro – Iran’s Black South by Kamran Heidari is a testimony of this trip.

Listen to Hamid Saeid performing Bad Shans (Hard luck):

Source: Autentic | Dingomaro – Iran’s Black South

Safi Yazdanian: Iranian film director

Safi Yazdanian, born 1960 in Tehran, is an Iranian film director, writer, translator and film critic. He graduated in Theater and Cinema Studies in 1988, starting his career as a reviewer and columnist in Iranian magazines.

In 1995 he ventured into filmmaking. His earliest films, documentaries and shorts, include:
In search of Scheherazade (Dar jostojouy-e shahrzad, 2002) with Leila Hatami as narrator
My boats (Ghayegh-ha-ye man, 35mm, 2005), with Ali Mosaffa as Farhad, was Yazdanian’s first short fiction. It won the Best Film Award at Tehran’s International Short Film Festival
Entracte, 2009.

Yazdanian’s feature directorial debut was 2014 with What’s the time in your world? (Dar donya-ye to saát chand ast?). The movie premiered at the 19th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF 2014) and was honored with the FIPRESCI (Federation Internationale de la Press Cinematographique) Award.

Besides directing he also edited Nahid Reazaei’s documentaries The water and Atefeh (Ab va Atefeh, 2001) and Dream of silk (Khab-e abrisham, 2003) and wrote together with Ali Mosaffa Mosaffa’s first feature film Portrait of a lady far away (Sima-ye zani dar doordast).

Sources: IRNA | News, FIPRESCI | People | Safi Yazdanian, Festival Scope | Director | Yazdanian, Safi, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam | Industry, Clermont International Short Film Festival | Safi Yazdanian , Cinéma du Réel | Archives | Ab va Atefeh, Cinéma du Réel | Archives | Khab-e abrisham, IMDb | Portrait of a Lady Far Away, Guest List 2014 Busan International Film Festival (PDF), BIFF | History | 19th (2014) | Safi Yazdanian

Reza Mirkarimi: Awarded Iranian film director

Reza Mirkarimi, born 1966 in Tehran, is an Iranian film writer and director. He graduated from Fine Arts University in Graphic Arts. His cinema activities began in 1987 with a series of shorts followed by two TV series aimed at young people.

His 1999 first feature, ‘The Child and The Soldier’, has won several national and international awards. In 2000 his second feature ‘Under the Moonlight’, dealing with social and religious issues won the Best Feature Award at the 40th Critics’ Week at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival.

Three of his films have been presented by Iran for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar: ‘ So Close, So Far’, ‘A Cube of Sugar’ and his current feature, ‘Today’ Reza Mirkarimi has also sat on several international film festival juries.

Filmography (as director)
– 2000: Koodak va Sarbaz (The Child And The Soldier)
– 2001: Zir-e Noor-e Maah (Under The Moonlight)
– 2002: Inja Cheraghi Roshan Ast (Here Is A Shining Light)
– 2005: Kheili Dour, Kheili Nazdik (So Close, So Far)
– 2008: Be Hamin Sadegi (A Simple as That)
– 2011: Yek Habe Ghand (A Cube of Sugar)
– 2014: Emrooz (Today)

Short Films, Documentary and TV Series
– For Him (Short / 1987)
– A Rainy Day (Short / 1987)
– Rooster (Short / 1987)
– The Adventures of Mrs. Aziz (TV Series / 1996)
– Hemmat School Kids (TV Series 1997)
– Iranian Carpet (Documentary / 2006)

Awards
Film: Koodak va Sarbaz (The Child And The Soldier)
Honor Diploma for Best Director – Fajr International Film Festival 2000
Silver Baloon – Three Continents Festival 2000
Golden Shoe – Zlín Film Festival 2001

Film: Zir-e Noor-e Maah (Under The Moonlight)
Best Director Award tied with Gjergj Xhuvani for Slogans – Tokyo International Film Festival 2001
Special Jury Prize – Beirut International Film Festival 2001
Special Jury Prize – Tokyo International Film Festival 2001
Special Jury Award – Fajr International Film Festival 2001
Critics Week Grand Prize – Cannes Film Festival 2001
Silver Peacock Special Prize of Jury – Delhi International Film Festival 2002

Film: Inja Cheraghi Roshan Ast (Here Is A Shining Light)
Best Screenplay – Asia-Pacific Film Festival 2002
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – Fajr International Film Festival 2003
Special Jury Prize – Bali International Film Festival 2004

Film: Kheili Dour, Kheili Nazdik (So Close, So Far)
Crystal Simorgh Best Film – National Competition, Fajr International Film Festival 2005
Best Film Award – Celebration House of Cinema 2005

Film: Be Hamin Sadegi (A Simple as That)
Golden St. George – 30th Moscow International Film Festival 2008
Russian Guild of Film Critics Award – International Competition, Moscow International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – Fajr International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Screenplay with Shadmehr Rastin – Competition of Asian Cinema, Fajr International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – Competition of Asian Cinema, Fajr International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – National Competition, Fajr International Film Festival 2008

Film: Yek Habe Ghand (A Cube of Sugar)
Special Jury Prize – Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema 2012
Best Film – Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema 2013

Film: Emrooz (Today)
Best Film Award Rabat International Film Festival 2014

Sources: Wikipedia | Reza Mirkarimi, Internet Movie Data Base | Reza Mirkarimi

Reza Attaran: Awarded Iranian actor, director, screenwriter and singer

Reza Attaran (born 1968 in Mashhad) is an Iranian actor, director, screenwriter and singer. He won in 2008 the Best Actor Award at the Gol Agha Comedy Festival and is regarded as one of the most creative and prolific Iranian comedy actors.

He graduated from high school in Mashhad majoring in Economy and moved to Tehran to study Industrial Design at the University of Tehran. Despite enjoying his field of study he turned to acting. In 1980s he started playing theatre under Hassan Hamed, portraying non comic roles until 1992 when Hamed passed away.

Attaran made his television debut playing his first comedy role as Reza back in 1994 in the TV Series Happy Hour (Saate Khosh) directed by Mehran Modiri alongside actors like Reza Shafii Jam, Nasrollah Radesh, Arzhang Amirfazli and Nader Soleimani.

In 1994 he married Farideh Faramarzi, a film editor and actress. She played with her husband in the movie Absolute Rest (Esterahate Motlagh) directed by Abdolreza Kahani.

Between 1997 and 2003 he started directing his own TV series where he achieved great recognition and fame for his singing skills. At that time he formed a music band called Dampaei (Slippers) together with Youssef Teimouri and other artists. Since then he has become the most successful comedy series maker in Iranian TV.

Attaran made his debut as a film director in 2011 with I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad). In 2013 he directed and acted in Red Carpet (Farshe Ghermez); Attaran’s sarcastic take on film festivals, fame and stars.

He was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 30th, 31st and 32nd Fajr International Film Festival: In 2012 for I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad), in 2013 for The Corridor (Dehliz) and in 2014 for Sensitive floor (Tabagheye Hasas).

TV shows
Happy Hour (Saate Khosh, as Reza, comedy, 1995-96)
Acacia Alley (as Faramaz, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2002-03)
Vagabond (as Ahmad, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2004)
The Accused Fled (as Ramin, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2005)
Shirin-va-Torsh (as Naser, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2007)
Turning Point (as Nader, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2008)
Ghalbe Yakhi (as Esfandiar, crime/drama, 2012)

Films
– 2015: Sperm whale (shooting, as Arjang, director: Saman Moghadam)
– 2015: Absolute Rest (Esterahate Motlagh, as Davoud, director: Abdolreza Kahani)
– 2014: Bar Bad Rafteh (Director: Reza Attaran)
– 2013: The Corridor (Dehliz, as Behzad, Director: Behrouz Shoaibi)
– 2013: Red Carpet (Farshe Ghermez, director: Reza Attaran)
– 2013: Sensitive Floor (Tabagheye Hasas, as Kamali, director: Kamal Tabrizi)
– 2013: Kalashnikov (Director: Kamal Tabrizi)
– 2012: By no reason (Bikhod & Bijahat, director: Abdolreza Kahani)
– 2011: I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad, as Reza, Director: Reza Attaran)
– 2010: Whatever God Wants (Harchi Khoda Bekhad, director: Navid Mihandoost)
– 2010: No men allowed (Voroode Aghayan Mamnoo, as Vahid Jebelli, director: Rambod Javan)
– 2010: Absolutely tame is a horse (Asb Heivane Najibi Ast, as Behruz Shakiba, director: Abdolreza Kahani)
– 2009: Az Ma Behtaroon (Director: Mehrdad Farid)
– 2009: Nish O Zanboor (Director: HR Slahmnd)
– 2009: Khoros Jangi (Director: Masood Atyabi)
– 2009: Bad Az Zohre Saghie Saghi
– 2008: Aghaye Haft Rang (Director: Shahram Shah-Hosseini)
– 2008: Empty chair (Sandali Khalli, director: Saman Astrky)
– 2007: Token (Neshani, director: Fereydoun Hassanpour)
– 2007: Tasvie Hesab (Director: Tamineh Milani)
– 2007: Tofighe Ejbari (as Ata, director: Mohammad Hossein Latifi)
– 2007: Quarantine (Gharantineh, director: Manouchehr Hadi)
– 2006: A hat for the rain Kolahi Baraye Baran (Director: Masood Navabi)
– 2006: Tigh Zan (Director: Alireza Davoodinejad)
– 2005: Havoo (Director: Alireza Davoudinejad)
– 2002: Kolah Ghermezi Va Sarvenaz (Director: Iraj Tahmasb)
– 2000: Cinderella (Director: Bijan Birang)
– 1997: Sarzamine Sabz (Director: Bijan Birang)

Awards
Best Actor Award at the 2008 Gol Agha Comedy Festival
Crystal Simorgh for Best Director in the New Vision section at the 30th International Fajr Film Festival for I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad), 2012
Statuette for Best Actor at the 15th House of Cinema Awards for Absolutely tame is a horse (Asb Heivane Najibi Ast)
Statuette of Golden Smile for Best Comedy Actor in the 2nd Sun’s Smile Awards for both Absolutely tame is a horse (Asb Heivane Najibi Ast) & No men allowed (Voroode Aghayan Mamnoo)
Diploma of Honor for Best Actor at the 6th Critics & Writers Guild’s Awards for By no reason (Bikhod & Bijahat), 2012

Sources: Wikipedia | Reza Attaran, Reza Attaran | Biography, picbazi.com | The legendary Attaran, Iran Novin Film | Red Carpet – Director’s Biography

Mehdi Fakhimi: Awarded Iranian architect

Iranian architect Mahdi FakhimiBorn on September 13, 1980, in Iran, Mohammad Mahdi Fakhimi got a Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering from Azad University in 2006.

He founded his first company named “Ideh-Pardazan Akad Group” in 2008 and continued his professional activity in three focused on three domains of architecture: urban planning, graphic interior design.

At that time his first book “Interior Design─From Architecture to Interior Decoration” was published.

He started teaching at Tehran Soore University as well as at Kish International Campus; the international branch of Tehran University located in Kish Island. His second book “Architecture & Urban Tele-democratic”, derived from his master thesis, was published in 2011.

Fakhimi resigned from teaching in 2013, working only as a supervisor and adviser for students who were looking forward to benefit from his knowledge for their theses.

Awards
Silver A Design Award in A’Design Award & Competition 2014-2015
Honorable Mention in 8th annual International Design Awards (IDA)
Jury Award of the Architecture and Urban Design Contest /2007
Winner of the 5th overall Architectural Photography Contest /2007

Sources: www.mahdifakhimi.com, A’ Design Award & Competition | Face Top Clinic

Kamran Heidari: Iranian film director and photographer

Born in 1977, in Gachsaran, close to the old city of Shiraz, Heidari directs documentaries and films about the lives of the people who come from his region. In 2012, Heidari directed his very first full-length documentary about the life of the eccentric and touching figure of Negahdar Jamali from Shiraz.

In 2013, Heidari directed another documentary, also on the life of an eccentric and touching person with a dream; Hamid Saeed, one of the best-known Iranian musicians with African roots.

One day while I was taking photos in Shiraz’s old neighborhood near the bazaar where century-old houses were falling into ruin I saw some beautiful writing on a wall which said “don’t know”.

I took a picture of the wall. As I was editing the photo and looking again at the writing it made me wonder about the person who wrote it? Did he or she write the words in a good mood or were they in a philosophical state of mind?

Rumi, the great Persian poet and philosopher wrote that “I” is a euphoric state — “What I know, what I know”. This “I” is what I think about when I take photos — it has become my overall concept for the Shiraz Street Photos series.

These old neighbourhoods serve as my photo workshop, the walls are my interior design and I carry my studio on my back. The subjects of these portraits stand in front of walls scrawlled with text — text full of sadness, happiness, pleasure, love, but also full of hope for life.

Apart from text, these walls incorporate other elements such as telephone and electrical cables, heater vents, and cracks, which make this environment even more attractive to me. These people represent the “don’t know” text on the walls. One can view them from an anthropological perspective — the geographic sections of the city of Shiraz become the backdrops for its’ inhabitants. In all of the photos the subjects look somewhat surreal. Kamran Heidari’s on Shiraz Street Photo Series

EXHIBITION
2014: “Good News from Iran”, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich Germany (Isfahan Gate Series and Shiraz Street Photos Series) – Curators: Stefan-Maria Mittendorf and Mojgan Endjavi-Barbé

FILMOGRAPHY
2004: “Dash Akol” (Documentary, 18min)
2006: Mohammad Bahman Beigi (Documentary, 40min)
2006: The Big Red (Short film, 14min)
2007: Comfortably Numb (Feature, 85min)
2008: At the End of Perfect day (Documentary, 50min)
2010: The Dead Sea (Documentary, 30min)
2011: Mola Sadra (Documentary, 30min)
2012: My name is Negahdar Jamali and I make westerns (Documentary, 65min)
2014: Dingomaro – Iran’s Black South (Documentary, 45min)

Sources: The Culture Trip | Kamran Heidari’s universal cinema beauty and humanity from Iran, Endjavi-Barbé Art Projects | Kamran Heidari, Kamran Heidari Official Site

Iranian architect Mahdi Fakhimi from AKAD Design winner of a Silver A’ Design Award in Italy

The design of Face Top by Mahdi Fakhimi from AKAD Design won the notable Silver A’ Design Award at Interior Space and Exhibition Design Competition in 2014-2015

The design, construction and execution contract of this project entitled Face Top Clinic, was concluded in summer 2011 for a cosmetic surgery consultation clinic in Tehran, Iran. Farzaneh Moghadasi, Sara Savar, Masoumeh Chakeri, Elham Sabetghadam, Mohammad Razaghdoust and Tahmineh Vesal are, alongside Mahdi Fakhimi, the team that was involved in this project.

Fakhimi, Mahdi - AKAD Design Group 1

The team from AKAD Design (Mahdi Fakhimi, 4th from right)

“The key point in the design of this project was the utilization of continuous surface style which is different from most of the works which have been done up to now, the continuous surface style requires soft surfaces and avoidance of sharp and angular lines, to create a flow” said Mahdi Fakhimi about the design.

It is not the first time that this team receives a design award for Face Top. It had already won bronze at the 7th Annual International Design Awards in 2014 in the category “Interior Design – Renovation”.

Hormoz Luxury Restaurant in Tehran, a runner-up in the Luxury Design Category in the same competition, is also a project by Mahdi Fakhimi along with Farzaneh Moghadasi, Sara Savar, Masoumeh Chakeri, Elham Sabetghadam and Hamid Ghorbani. It started in spring 2013 and finished by end of 2013.

About A’ Design Award and Competitions
The designs are judged by a panel of three different jury which is composed of Academic, Professional and Focus Group Members. A’ Design Award & Competitions, aims to highlight the excellent qualifications of best designs, design concepts and design oriented products. A’ Design Award & Competitions are organized and awarded annually and internationally in multiple categories to reach a wide, design-oriented audience. The Platinum A’ Design Award is given to the top 1% runner-up candidates (N° 1: 1st place, N° 2: 2nd and N° 3: 3rd place), the Golden A’ Design Award is given to top 3% candidates, the Silver A’ Design Award to top 5%, the Bronze A’ Design Award to top 10% and the A’ Design Award to top 20% runner-up candidates.

About AKAD Design Group
In 2002 a group of students beginning their careers started to work in teams using their knowledge from different fields. By 2008 AKAD Design Group was founded focusing on architecture, interior and graphic design.

Sources: A’ Design Award & Competition | Press release 36434, A’ Design Award & Competition | Mohammad Mahdi Fakhimi, AKAD Design | About, Mahdi Fakhimi | Projects, International Design Awards (iDA) 2014 | Renovation

Shahram Mokri: Iranian film director and screenwriter

Shahram Mokri (Persian: شهرام مکری‎) is an Iranian writer and film director. Born 1977 in Marand, Iran, Shahram Mokri is a graduate of cinema from Tehran’s Soureh College.

Raised in a family of movie lovers, director Shahram Mokri took multiple filmmaking workshops in his native Iran before enrolling in Tehran at the university to study cinema. He started making short films in 2000 and also edited television series and more than 20 short and documentary films.

“I belong to the group of movie lovers who cut out photos of movie stars from magazines,” recalls Mokri. “I’d hang them on my bedroom wall or stick them on my school notebooks. I’ve loved to make movies since I was a child and I’m so happy to still be doing it now.”

His short films brought him national and international recognition along with his debut feature film, Ashkan, The Charmed Ring And Other Stories, which had its international premiere at Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in 2009.

Mokri’s second film, Fish & Cat, premiered at the 70th Venice Film Festival and was awarded the Special Orizzonti Award for innovative content. He was nominated for the 2013 Asia Pacific Screen Award for Achievement in Directing for Fish & Cat. For his short film The Dragonfly Storm, Mokri won Best Director at the 2007 Noor Iranian Film Festival.

Filmography
– 2000: Electric Shock And Fly (short)
– 2002: Toofan-e Sanjaghak (The Dragonfly Storm) (short)
– 2005: Mahdoodeh-ye Dayereh (Limit of circle) (short)
– 2006: This is the question (documentary)
– 2007: Andosi (Ando-C) (short)
– 2009: Ashkan, angoshtar-e motebarek va dastan-haye digar (Ashkan, the charmed ring and other stories)
– 2011: Kham, pekhth, swkhth (Raw, cooked and burnt) (short)
– 2013: Mahi va Gorbeh (Fish & Cat)

Sources: Wikipedia | Shahram Mokri, Asia Pacific Screen Academy | Shahram Mokri, Houston Iranian Film Festival | Fish & Cat, Film Society Lincoln Center | Meet the (New) Director: Shahram Mokri

Mahlagha Mallah: 96 year old Iranian environmental activist

Mahlagha Mallah, 96, is an environmental activist who has not produced any waste over the past 60 years.

Mahlagha Mallah

Earlier in March, Mehr News Agency ran a report on the founding mother of Iran’s environmental protection and her waste minimization efforts.

Mahlagha Mallah, who holds a Ph.D. from Sorbonne in Sociology, is the founder and managing director of Women’s Society against Environmental Pollution. She was praised as the 2010 personality of the year in the field of “Natural Heritage and Environment” for her decades-old struggle to preserve the environment.

Back from France where she got her Ph.D. and learned library science, she started to work in a Tehran University library.

“I asked all embassies [in Tehran] to provide me with the environmental information of their countries. After studying the issue, I came to the conclusion that collective measures are needed to do something for the environment. I wanted to teach people how to protect the environment.”

Dr. Mallah was not the first in her family who tried not to produce waste. “My mom would not place the waste outside the house. Back then people produced less garbage and each family would recycle –one way or another – their waste at home. They used to give food leftovers to the poultry.

A rural lifestyle helped people to use less paper and plastic and do less damage to the environment in the process. But today new sources of pollution cause new diseases. Something must be done about it.”

For the past 60 years, Mrs. Mallah and her family have not placed any waste in the garbage can to be collected unless it was recyclable. They bury the waste in a pit in their yard to let it turn into fertilizer.

“We still don’t use plastic bottles. In the past I used to take a cloth shopping bag to store to help the environment, and I’d encourage others to follow suit. We need to stop harming the environment so that future generations can use this natural heritage.”

Mrs. Mallah talks with people in different neighborhoods and teachers at schools about the need for waste sorting. […] We can run environmental programs to raise public awareness. We love nature and the environment and we do not work to get money in return.

Dr. Mallah has always offered great ideas about environment protection. “We can do more for a plan which segregates the [dry and wet] waste at households. We can teach women in this regard. […]

“Municipalities can separately collect disposable batteries, which leave a destructive impact on the environment. The used cooking oil – which harms the environment after entering the sewage system – can be collected, refined and reprocessed, exactly like used engine oil.” […]

Mrs. Mallah says the waste produced in Tehran is too much. Everyone can do their share and help reduce waste production. People can turn the waste to compost –a fertilizer for plants in organic farming – or Vermicompost – which is light and odorless. […]

Other great Iranian women: The other Iran | Women

Source: Iran Front Page

Taraneh Alidoosti: Awarded Iranian actress, blogger and writer

Taraneh Alidoosti is a Crystal-Simorgh winning Iranian actress. In a poll conducted among 130 film critics by Sanate Cinema magazine, she was voted the best Iranian actress of the decade. In 2012, a similar poll by the Film Monthly also chose her as the best actress of the decade.

Her father, Hamid Alidoosti, is a former member of the Iranian national football team and currently a football coach in Iran.

Career as actress
She began her acting career at age 17 with the leading role in Man, Taraneh, panzdah sal daram (I Am Tarane, Fifteen Years Old), (Rasul Sadr Ameli, 2002). Critics praised her performance as a defiant 15 year old girl who after a failed relationship is determined to rear a child on her own, while struggling with poverty and social stigma. She won the Bronze Leopard for Best Actress from Locarno International Film Festival in 2002, as well as the Crystal Simorgh for Best Actress from the 20th Fajr Film Festival, becoming the youngest ever to do so. Shortly after she set another record, getting nominated three consecutive times for the best actress prize at the Fajr Film Festival for her first three films. Since then she has maintained a steady but selective work flow in both theatre and cinema. She is mostly known for her choosy criteria in accepting challenging, dramatic roles, as exemplified by her long collaboration with Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi, making her one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation.

Blogging/Writing
In addition to her acting career she is also known for her writing as featured in her personal weblog . Additionally, her short stories and commentary pieces have been widely published in magazines and daily newspapers such as Shargh. In 2010, a piece written in support of director Asghar Farhadi, defending his comments in support of dissident Iranian artists, caused her weblog to be closed by government officials. Her new weblog however is active now. A collection of stories by Canadian author Alice Munro collected and translated by Taraneh Alidoosti, was published in 2011. It received the prize for best fiction translation at annual Book of Season Awards. She is fluent in English and German.

Awards
Bronze Leopard for Best Actress from Locarno International Film Festival in 2002
Crystal Simorgh for Best Actress from the 20th Fajr Film Festival (youngest actress to win the prize with 17 years)
Best fiction translation at annual Book of Season Awards

Filmography
2002: Man Taraneh, Panzdah Sal Daram (I Am Taraneh, Fifteen Years Old)
2004: Shahre Ziba (Beautiful City)
2006: Fireworks Wednesday
2008: Canaan
2008: Shirin
2008: Tardid (Doubt)
2009: Darbareh Elly (About Elly)
2010: Whatever God Wants
2011: Life With Closed Eyes
2011: At the End of 8th Street
2012: Modest Reception
2013: The Shallow Yellow Sky
2014: The Life Wedlock Mr Mahmoudi & Banoo

Sources: wikipedia | Taraneh Alidoosti, Bing Image Search

Negar Javaherian – Awarded Iranian actress

Negar Javaherian holds a Bachelor Degree in Stage Design from the School of Art and Architecture at Azad University in Tehran, Iran. She started her acting career in theatre at the age of sixteen. In 2001, at the age of seventeen, she acted in her first film I Am Taraneh, I Am Fifteen Years Old (2002). Since then, she has played in a number of films and theatrical performances.

Her recent films include Howze Naghashi (2013), for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Award by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy (Australia), Here Without Me (2011), for which she won the Best Actress in the Supporting Role at the 15th Cinema Home Ceremony (Iran), Gold and Copper (2011), for which she received the Best Actress in the Leading Role Award at the 28th Fajr Film Festival (Iran) and Before the Burial (2008), for which she was awarded the Best Actress prize at the 11th Osian’s Cinefan Festival (India).

Negar Javaherian performed in a theatrical play The Fourth Wall (2012-2013) which was awarded the Best Performance of the Year (Iran). Two theatrical plays, Ivanov (2011) and Where Were You on January 8th? (2010), went on European festival tours. For the latter, she was nominated for the Best Actress Award at the International Fajr Theatre Festival (Iran).

Awards
Best Actress in a Leading Role for Tala va Mes, from 28th Fajr Film Festival, 2010 (1388)
Best Actress in a Leading Role for Tala va Mes, from cinema home ceremony, 2010 (1388)

Sources: imdb.com, Wikipedia | Negar Javaherian

Hossein Alizadeh: Iranian Grammy Award nominee tours Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Italy starting Feb 27

Alizadeh, Hossein - Iranian tar virtuosoIranian tar virtuoso Hossein Alizadeh is scheduled to tour Europe to perform a series of concerts entitled “The Art of Improvisation”.

Kamancheh player Saba, who is Alizadeh’s son, and tombak virtuoso Behnam Samani will accompany him during the tour, which will begin at the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Gothenburg, Sweden on February 27.

The group will then perform at the Hvidovre Main Library in Copenhagen, the most populated city in Denmark.

Cosmopolite Scene in Oslo, Norway, will be the next stop for the ensemble on March 1 and then the group will leave for Venice to perform at the Centro Culturale Candiani on March 6.

The tour will come to an end at San Luigi Guanella, a major theater in Rome, on March 7.

The concerts will offer an attractive combination of traditional Persian music with an amalgam of percussion and stringed indigenous Iranian instruments.

About Hossein Alizadeh:
Hossein Alizâdeh , is an Iranian composer, radif-preserver, researcher, teacher, and tar and setar instrumentalist and improviser, described by Allmusic as a leading Iranian classical composer and musician.

He has made numerous recording with prominent musicians including Shajarian, Nazeri, Madjid Khaladj, and Gasparyan, and is a member of the Musical group, Masters of Persian Music.

Alizadeh was born in 1951 in Tehran to Azeri and Persian parents. He graduated from the music conservatory in 1975 and entered the school of fine arts in the University of Tehran where he studied composition and Persian music. He continued his education at the Berlin University of the Arts in composition and musicology. He studied with various masters of Traditional Persian Music such as Houshang Zarif, Ali Akbar Shahnazi, Nur-Ali Borumand, Mahmoud Karimi, Abdollah Davami, Yusef Forutan, and Sa’id Hormozi. From these masters he learned the radif of Persian classical music.

Alizadeh has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia and has appeared on many radio and television programs, including Radio France, RIAS in Berlin, WDR in Cologne, the BBC, KCRW in Los Angeles, and KPFA in Berkeley. Some of Alizadeh’s most noted compositions are, The Nava Improvisations (1976), Riders of the Plains of Hope (1977), Hesar (1977), Revolt (1983) for harp, string orchestra, and percussion, NeyNava (1983), Dream (1986) for harp and flute, Torkaman (1986), Raz-O-Niaz (1986), and Song of Compassion (1991).

He has been nominated for the 2007 Grammy Award along with Armenian musician, Djivan Gasparyan, for their collaboration album, The Endless Vision. In 2008, he was voted as “Iran’s most distinguished musician of the year”.

Listen to his music on last.fm: http://www.last.fm/music/Hossein+Alizadeh

Sources: Tehran Times , Wikipedia | Hossein Alizadeh , Iran Chamber

Iran’s 33rd Fajr Film Festival – winners and closing ceremony

The 33rd edition of Iran’s Fajr International Film Festival has come to an end with “Crazy” by the renowned Abolhasan Davoodi winning the Best Director and the Best Film awards. Produced by Bita Mansuri, Crazy received 11 nominations, including best film, best director for Abolhassan Davudi, best actress for Tannaz Tabatabaii, best cinematographer, best screenplay and best music.

Winners for the national main competition section:

Best Supporting Role Actor – Houman Seyyedi for ‘I Am Diego Maradona’
Best Main Role Actor – Saeed Aghakhani for ‘The Long Farewell’
Best Screenplay – ‘A Time for Love’ by Roya Mohaghegh
Best Director – Abolhasan Davoodi for ‘Crazy’
Best Film – ‘Crazy’ produced by Bita Mansuri
Best Main Role ActressBaran Kousari for ‘Binam Alley’

Sources: Payvand, ISNA | Photos, ISNA | Photos 2, Tasnim News Agency | Photos

Photo gallery: Fajr Film Festival in Iran

The Fajr International Film Festival or Fajr Film Festival is Iran’s annual film festival, held every February in Tehran, Iran. It takes place every year on the anniversary of the Iranian revolution. There were 90 feature films submitted for the 29th edition of the festival in 2011.

Sources: Wikipedia| Fajr International Film FestivalTasnim News | Photos FIFF 1Tasnim News | Photos FIFF 2Tasnim News | Photos FIFF 3ISNA | FIFF 1ISNA | FIFF 2ISNA | FIFF 3ISNA | FIFF 4ISNA | FIFF 5

Reza Dormishian: Iranian film director, screenwriter and producer

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Reza Dormishian is an Iranian film director, screenwriter and producer. He has worked as assistant director with remarkable directors such as Dariush Mehrjui, Fereydoun Jeyrani, and Alireza Davood Nejad.

He is one of the most prominent and distinguished directors of the new generation of the Iranian cinema, whose films have always been received well by the people, critics, and international festivals because of their social themes and modern structure.

He started writing as a film critic in 1997 for several newspapers. He later worked as an executive editor for cinema books and magazines. He was an assistant to some prestigious Iranian filmmakers, including Dariush Mehrjui and Alireza Davood Nejad. He has also worked as a screenwriter. He started making short films and documentaries in 2002. Hatred is his first feature film, produced independently in Istanbul. Hatred displays the frenzied love and hatred and two accounts from two phases in the life of an Iranian refugee couple in Istanbul, Turkey. The film was received well by critics and cinema writers and the Iranian critics gave it three awards (Best Directing, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing). Although Hatred was censored to be screened in Iran, it was screened and praised in various festivals such as Competition Section of 36th Montreal Film Festival in Canada, Competition Section of 28th Warsaw Film Festival in Poland, and Competition Section of Camerimage Film Festival in Poland.

Source: Wikipedia | Reza Dormishian

Baran Kosari: Awarded Iranian actress

Baran Kosari, born on October 17th 1985 in Tehran, is an award winning Iranian actress. She is the daughter of director Rakhshan Bani Etemad, and film producer Jahangir Kosari.

She graduated from Soureh academy. The Best Papa of the World (1991) is her first acting experiment. She had appearances in some of her mother’s films, Nargess (1991), Rusari-ye Abi (The Blue-Veiled, 1994), May Lady (1997), Kish Stories (Rain and Ladsman episode – 1998), Under the Skin of the City (2000), Our Times (documentary, 2001).

In 2007 she was nominated for the best performance by an actress in Asia Pacific Screen Award for her performance in Mainline. Baran Kosari also ascertained her abilities as a theater actress with playing in Over the Mirror (1997), with Azita Hajian directing.

Awards
Best Actress / 33rd Fajr International Film Festival / The Nameless Alley (2015)
Best Actress / 1st National Young Iranian Film Festival / Ablah (2010)
Best Actress / 11th Iran Cinema Celebration / Khunbazi (2007)
Best Actress / 25th Fajr International Film Festival / Iran Competition / Khoon Bazi and Ruz-e sevvom (2007)
Honorary Diploma / 25th International Fajr Film Festival / Khoon Bazi (2007)
Best Teenage Actress / Critic’s Choice / Baran-o-Bumi, Zir-e puste shahr (2000)

Other activities
Screenwriter (Ablah – 2007)
Secretary of Scene (Gilaneh – 2004)
Festival Arbiter, 17th Teenage Film Festival (Isfahan – 2002)

Source: Wikipedia | Baran Kosari

Nazanin Daneshvar: Tehran’s Trail Blazing Tech Entrepreneur

As a young businesswoman in Iran, Nazanin Daneshvar didn’t plan to become one of Tehran’s trail blazing techpreneurs.  She has overcome obstacles of both age, and gender. The 30-year old is part of a startup scene so vibrant, more than one hundred people recently competed for a place at the country’s first private accelerator, providing mentorship as well as funding.

Tehran’s techpreneurs say one of the few benefits of sanctions are the almost limit-less opportunities to localize popular Western sites, like YouTube and PayPal. […]

Women dominate the hard sciences at Iranian universities, studying subjects like engineering, math and chemistry. And, women are involved in Tehran’s tech sector, but Daneshvar says the real problem is getting the older segments of society to take web businesses seriously.

Shifting traditional mindsets and uptake is a slow process, but with a compelling sales pitch, Daneshvar and her sales team have more than 10,000 merchants on board.

“We are solving a problem. Advertising is so expensive, and there is a financial crunch, so we say to merchants, just give us a discount, and we will get customers for you and bring a lot of PR. There’s limited disposable income, so if you can double the performance you can get out of that, why wouldn’t you? We only sell as many deals as the businesses can handle.”

Takhfifan earns a variable commission on the sale of each coupon for discounted services. […]

The company has grown from two sisters in a tiny office, selling one deal a week, to a staff of 60, with deals in seven different cities. Daneshvar’s entirely boot-strapped business has seen 100% growth since launch.

“The first year we doubled in growth every two months. This is still not comparable to Groupon. This is organic growth. We don’t have a marketing budget.”

Daneshvar says most Iranian startups operate with zero to little funding. Wealthy parents invest their money in property, rather than their children’s tech aspirations. In her case, Daneshvar says her parents’ support came in the form of many middle class families: room and board.

The success of Takhfifan has led Daneshvar to develop a new venture Tarinan, a review site, driven by customer demand. […]

Tarinan, a local search and review-based platform launched last year and we’ve just launched mobile. We have more than 30,000 reviews without advertising, not a single penny spent and our company is completely boot-strapped – both of them.”

Denashvar has won all sorts of awards for her site, including recognition from Silicon Valley, but she says the real challenge goes back to mentorship. It’s a culture that doesn’t exist in Iran – yet.

“People are changing jobs every three months, every six months, because they don’t have proper mentorship to teach them how to work. In the US, people take lots of internships, here there is no such eco-system. People don’t have this tradition of looking at a career. The only option is taking over their parents’ shop.”

But that’s changing. Tehran’s tech community is banking on leaders like Denashvar, to do more than recruit others to the sector; they’re counting on her, with a requisite failure and success under her belt, to be one of Iran’s pioneering mentors.

Source: Forbes | Tehran’s trail blazing techpreneur

Two galleries in Tehran are holding a retrospective of awarded Iranian painter Sirak Melkonian

Iranian painter Sirak-Melkonian-1-HR

Iranian painter Sirak Melkonian

Two galleries in Tehran are holding a retrospective of painter Sirak Melkonian in a joint project. A collection of paintings created over the past 70 years by the 85-year-old artist are on display at the Aria and Ab Anbar galleries, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Tuesday.

The two exhibitions opened on January 30 and will run until February 19.

Aria Gallery: 10 Zarrin Alley, off Vali-e Asr Ave.
Ab Anbar Gallery: 2 Roshan Manesh Alley, Khaqani St., off Enqelab Ave.

Biography
Sirak Melkonian was born in Iran in 1931. He gained national recognition in 1957, winning a prize in the Contemporary Iranian Artist Exhibition of the Iran American Society. That achievement was followed by the Imperial Court Prize Tehran Biennale in 1958 and first prize in 1959 for the Tehran Paris Biennale. First prize in 1974 International Art Exhibition In Tehran brought him International acclaim and he was subsequently invited to exhibit his work at the International Exhibit in Basil, Switzerland.
Throughout 1976 and 1977 he exhibited internationally, most notably at the exhibition of Grand Palais and the Salon De Montrouge in Paris, as well as the Washington International Artfair in the United States. Sirak currently lives and teaches in Toronto, Canada.

Awards
1957- Winning a prize in the Contemporary Iranian Artist Exhibition of the Iran American Society.
1958- The Imperial Court Prize Tehran Biennale
1959- First prize for the Tehran Paris Biennale.
1974- First prize for International Art Exhibition In Tehran

Some works by Sirak Melkonian

More works by Sirak Melkonian: Mahart Gallery | Sirak Melkonian

Sources: Facebook | Sirak Melkonian, Payvand News of Iran

Keyhan Kalhor: Iranian music maestro and former Grammy awards nominee to perform in the US and Canada

Iranian musician and Kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor along with Indian sitar maestro Shujaat Husain Khan is slated to perform in New York, Boston and Irvine

The duo is planning to present their program accompanied by Ghazal Ensemble in the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University on March 22, 2015.

Ghazal (with Shujaat Hussein Khan and Sandeep Das) March 2015 events are:
13 Mar: Kay Meek Theater, Vancouver, Canada
15 Mar: Skirball Center, Los Anegeles, CA
17 Mar: Irvine Barclay Theater, Irvine, CA
19 Mar: Freer Gallery, Washington, DC
21 Mar: Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA
22 Mar: Schimmel Center at Pace University, NY
25-28 Mar: Agha Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada
29 Mar: Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, TX

Other Kayhan Kalhor early 2015 events (Europe, US): www.facebook.com/kalhor.kayhan

Iranian Kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor

Ghazal Ensemble, formed in 1997 by Kalhor and Husain Khan, has been touring the world and it is acclaimed for performing Indo-Persian music.

Described by the Los Angeles Times as “utterly captivating…an irresistible expression of creative musical passion,” Ghazal’s performances and recordings have garnered critical acclaim as well as a 2004 Grammy nomination for Best Traditional World Music Album for their 2003 live album The Rain. Amazon named Ghazal’s first CD, Lost Songs of the Silk Road, to its list of the best 100 world music albums ever recorded.

Kalhor is known for his brilliant performances on the traditional instrument Kamancheh and creating a unique mixture of classical Persian music with folk tunes of the Kurdistan region.

He held many concerts along with the world-renowned musicians and ensembles such as the string quartet, Brooklyn Rider ensemble, in Minneapolis, United States, in 2012.

Kalhor also presented joint programs with the veteran Turkish Baglama player Erdal Erzincan in New York’s GlobalFest held at the Marlin Room on January 13, 2013.

He also performed introspective performances with a number of world-class Asian musicians at BT River of Music in London.

Shujaat Husain Khan is one of today’s greatest North Indian artists, who represent the seventh generation of illustrious musicians, which includes his father, the great sitarist Ustad Vilayat Khan.

BIOGRAPHY – KAYHAN KALHOR
Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh (Persian spiked fiddle). His performances of Persian music and his many collaborations have attracted audiences around the globe.

Born in Tehran, Iran, he began his musical studies at the age of seven. At thirteen, he was invited to work with the National Orchestra of Radio and Television of Iran, where he performed for five years. When he was seventeen he began working with the Shayda Ensemble of the Chavosh Cultural Center, the most prestigious arts organization in Iran at the time.  At a musical conservatory in Tehran around age 20 Kalhor worked under the directorship of Mohammad-Reza Lotfi who is from Northern Khorasan. He has traveled extensively throughout Iran, studying the music of its many regions, in particular those of Khorason and Kordestan. He later moved to Rome and Ottawa to study European classical music.

Kayhan has toured the world as a soloist with various ensembles and orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lyon.  He is co-founder of the renowned ensembles Dastan, Ghazal: Persian & Indian Improvisations and Masters of Persian Music. Kayhan has composed works for Iran’s most renowned vocalists Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri and has also performed and recorded with Iran’s greatest instrumentalists.

Kayhan has composed music for television and film and was most recently featured on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Copolla’s Youth Without Youth in a score that he collaborated on with Osvaldo Golijov. In 2004, Kayhan was invited by American composer John Adams to give a solo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of his Perspectives Series and in the same year he appeared on a double bill at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, sharing the program with the Festival Orchestra performing the Mozart Requiem. Kayhan is an original member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project and his compositions Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur, Silent City and Mountains Are Far Away, appear on all three of the Ensemble’s albums. His most recent commission for the Kölner Philharmonic in Germany will be premiered in October 2009.

Three of his recent recordings have been nominated for Grammys, Faryad, Without You and The Rain.  His new CD Silent City, with the innovative ensemble Brooklyn Rider, was released on the World Village label in September 2008 to critical acclaim.

Compositions
– Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur
– Gallop of a Thousand Horses
– I was There
– The Silent City
– Mountains Are Far Away

Sources: Press TVwww.kayhankalhor.net, Tehran TimesKODOOM.com, Philharmonic Society