What are some of the ways that the Ashura mourning plays of ta’ziyeh get translated when traveling to foreign lands? What elements of the tradition are altered and similarly, what elements are kept in tact? How can a foreign audience negotiate themselves as alternative spectators? Can ta’ziyeh be a site of travel in itself? Exploring possible answers to such questions allows leeway into the ever-evolving global discussion of our complex and entangled modernity.
Focusing on the city of Shiraz, Setrag Manoukian’s City of Knowledge examines why it has emerged as a place so saturated with national significance, the techniques used to achieve this, and just how fraught this process continues to be.
Kamran Heidari chooses an unusual genre to depict his Iranian cowboy: a Western documentary. In his humanizing portrait of a Shirazi cowboy-cum-director, Heidari successfully weaves the bizarre, the unexpected, and the hilarious to tell a tale of an Iranian cowboy masculinity and the unexpected world it inhabits.
I recently came across a trailer for a documentary called “The Iran Job,” which follows Kevin Sheppard, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, as he gets recruited to play…