sat 02/07/2022

Iran

Light from the Middle East: New Photography, Victoria & Albert Museum

This compilation of nearly 90 photographs by 30 photographers from 13 different countries of the Middle East is literally and metaphorically illuminating. The Paris-based Iranian photographer Abbas puts it thus: “I write with light.”Framed in three...

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Argo

No one can resist a story based on declassified truth and in Argo’s case, no one should. The broad strokes of this so-ridiculous-it-must-be-true tale involve six American hostages who escape the siege of the Iranian Embassy in 1979. They hole up at...

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Shappi Khorsandi, Soho Theatre

If the first rule of being a novelist is to write about what you know, then the first rule of comedy is to be yourself. And in that respect Shappi Khorsandi starts with an advantage, as being herself means she's warm and likeable and the audience...

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Circumstance

Recent Iranian cinema has seen the best of times - and the worst of times. From the 1990s onwards the phenomenon of the "Iranian New Wave" has captured worldwide festival attention, with directors like Abbas Kiarostami, and father and daughter pair...

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This is Not a Film

With only a modest, handheld camera and an iPhone at his disposal, the internationally acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi shot this film in secret whilst under house arrest. His close friend, and co-director of this film, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb,...

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2011: Tintin, Tallinn and a Year of Surprises

The surprises linger longest. The things you’re not prepared for, the things of which you’ve got little foreknowledge. Lykke Li’s Wounded Rhymes was amazing, and she was equally astonishing live, too. Fleet Foxes's Helplessness Blues was more than a...

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Omid Djalili, Touring

After a busy few years away from stand-up – although never off our film and television screens – Omid Djalili bounds back on stage for his new show, Tour of Duty, and as one of our more intelligent and thoughtful comics, he's welcome back. The show...

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The Green Wave

Four years ago a film called Persepolis told the story of a young woman’s experience of revolution in Iran. There has been a modest abundance of Iranian films making their way west over the years, but this distinguished itself from the others by...

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theartsdesk Debate: The Art of Performance

To celebrate theartsdesk's second birthday on Friday, we held a panel discussion on The Art of Performance at Kings Place, London, in the Kings Place Festival. Actor Toby Jones, singer-songwriter Mara Carlyle, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and...

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The Arts Desk Birthday Event - Join Us on 9/9!

On 9 September theartsdesk, Britain's first professional arts journalism site, will be two years old. To celebrate we’re holding a live debate with four leading performers during the Kings Place Festival. An actor, a singer, a dancer and an...

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Iran’s pre-1979 pop music begins to reach the outside world

Pop music was virtually eradicated from Iran in 1979 after the deposition of the Shah and arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini in power. Before then, the thriving scene supported many stars that drew on both local traditions and Kurdish music. Googoosh was...

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The Jameel Prize, Victoria & Albert Museum

Hadie Shafdie's '26000 Pages' echoes the physical act of ecstatic recitation

Hadie Shafdie, Iranian-born and now living in America, uses phrases and words taken from mystical Sufi poetry, incantations of sequences of the names of the divine. She handwrites and prints the devotions, usually spoken or chanted, on thousands...

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