Edinburgh Iranian Festival


The sights, sounds and tastes of Iran are coming to town in February, when the fourth season of the Edinburgh Iranian Festival kicks off. In a diverse and interactive line-up, festival-goers will be able to take tea in a Persian teahouse, sample renowned Iranian cinema, and even learn traditional music and calligraphy.

The Edinburgh Iranian Festival, which will run from February 6-16, 2015, aims to span both Iran’s rich traditions and its contemporary cultural life. The festival’s organisers hope to address misconceptions by introducing Scotland to the heart and soul of Iran – from its art and music, through to its history, food and – for the first time in the festival’s history – its fashion.    

Festival founder Sara Kheradmand said: “I am privileged to have seen this festival grow over the past 5 years from a modest, student-run project to the wide-ranging and hugely exciting program we have on offer today. It is thanks to the open-mindedness and curiosity of the Scottish public that we continue to grow and diversify.

“With over 5,000 Iranians currently living in Scotland, and given the celebrated tradition for cultural events in the capital, Edinburgh really is a natural home for this festival.”

The 2015 festival season is partnered with British Council Iran as part of their UK-Iran Season of Culture.

Solo Exhibition:
Parviz Tanavoli


The Davis Museum at Wellesley College presents Parviz Tanavoli, the first solo exhibition of the Iranian artist’s work by a U.S. museum.

Critically acclaimed and widely acknowledged as the “father of modern Iranian sculpture,” Tanavoli’s trajectory has spanned east and west as he has innovated ambitiously across media. Best known as a sculptor, his expansiveoeuvre also includes painting, printmaking, ceramics, rugs, and jewelry. As well, he is a highly regarded collector, scholar, and poet.  This exhibition shares the breadth and richness of his work from the 1960s to the present.

Based in Tehran and Vancouver, Tanavoli was a leading influence among a generation defined by its commitment to artistic practices that are both modern and distinctly Iranian. He is one of the foremost Iranian artists. He was a founder member of Saqqakhaneh, an artistic movement that began in Iran during the 1960s. This movement sought to integrate popular symbols of Shi’a Muslim culture in art, the results of which have been described as ‘spiritual Pop Art’.

Through June 7 with an opening celebration, featuring a 5pm talk with the artist, will be held on Tuesday, February 10 from 5-8pm.  

Shirin Neshat : Afterwards


The first solo exhibition in the region of the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat. The exhibition introduces a group of new and existing works along with interventions including the photographic series, The Book of Kings (2011), Our House is on Fire (2013) as well as the video installation, Turbulent (1998) that build relationships between ancient mythologies and contemporary events that are challenging our lives.

The work of Shirin Neshat explores the relationship between ancient history and the politics of the present narrated through a strong visual language referencing the primal concepts of violence, passion and love in universal history. The artist proposes a different perspective on this collective history, using images that reflect the paradox of beauty and violence.
Until February 15, 2015

Film About Iranian
Dancer Set for April


Indian-origin Hollywood actress Freida Pinto practices choreographed dance moves in suppressed society and risking their lives in the movie Desert Dancer.

The movie centers on a real-life dancer Afshin Ghaffarian (played by Reece Ritchie). The video first shows him as a kid who gets punished at school for dancing in class. Afshin’s passion, however, does not die. He learns dancing from videos of Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev, and later creates his own dance company alongside some friends, including Pinto’s Elaheh.

Directed by Richard Raymond, the movie kicked off the opening night of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theatre.

Also starring Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Cullen and Marmama Corlett, the film will open in select theatres in the US on April 10 before going wide on April 17.