This post is part of the Persianate Futurism series, a collection of works which asks: What will the Persianate world look like 30 years in the future? It invites writers, artists, and readers to draw inspiration from the region’s unique collective past to imagine and construct novel future societies, economies, and cultures. See the full collection here.
The year is 2053. Fresh ingredients are no longer accessible. Instead, everything is pickled and sold in jars.
7 Extinct Seens is a short advertisement targeting Persianates as they source elements for their haft-seen, a symbolic Nowruz arrangement composed of seeb (apple), seer (garlic), sabzeh (mung beans), samanu (wheat germ pudding), serkeh (vinegar), senjed (oleaster), and sumac.
7 Extinct Seens gives a nod to post-revolution Iranian commercials and infomercials sprouting from Los Angeles in the 1980s and 90s and aims to revisit the eerie energy of the diaspora television channels like IR TV with a futuristic twist.
The long tradition of preservation through pickling in Iran lingers into the future, as preserved haft-seen ingredients act as a metaphor for the diaspora’s attempt at preserving Persian language and Persianate culture in a hyper-fragmented reality.
This video was made by Sahba Sad (she/they), an emerging multidisciplinary artist and writer exploring themes of epic and esoteric through a humorous linguistic lens and processing the findings into ritualistic games displayed in a wide range of mediums including video, performance and installation. This video was made in collaboration with Lydia Pourmand.