Iran’s cultural contribution to the world is enormous, with the hugely influential poets Rumi and Ferdowsi, and contributions to mathematics, architecture, music and, more recently, cinema. After the Cultural Revolution, Iranian cinema became lauded at Cannes, Venice, and Berlin, with directors Kiarostami, Panahi and Farhadi establishing international reputations.

Despite the political upheavals of the last century, Iran’s cultural milieu remains vibrant, rich, and resilient, preserving its Persian heritage while remaining open to the influences of modernity.

To look at the wealth of contemporary Iranian art and culture, and the forces shaping it, we bring together artists Javaad Alipoor and Orkideh Behrouzan in a panel discussion.

About The Host

Afshin Shahi

Dr Afshin Shahi is a senior lecturer in Middle East politics and International Relations at Bradford University. He is a multilingual scholar and his research interests encompass sectarianism and the politics and security of the Middle East, with a particular focus on political Islam. He is the author of Politics of Truth Management in Saudi Arabia (Routledge 2013), and co-author of the forthcoming book, Iran: the Shia State and the Sunni Minority.

About The Speakers

Javaad Alipoor

Javaad Alipoor is a writer, director and sometimes performer whose work comes out of discussions and workshops with communities that don’t usually engage with mainstream theatre. His recent theatre work has included My Brother’s CountryOrgreave: An English Civil War and The Rising of the Moon.  He is a published poet and his writing about politics and theology have appeared in Critical Muslim.

Orkideh Behrouzan

Orkideh Behrouzan is a poet, author, and academic teaching at the Department of Anthropology at SOAS, University of London.