Since I was forced to leave  Iran and to live in exile, I have been amazed by the fact that the Iranian authors and artists have not had a chance to appear in the spotlight of the mainstream media.

According to unofficial estimations (it’s almost impossible to get a precise figure), 4-6 million Iranian immigrants are living outside Iran, mainly in the US and Europe. The main immigration started nearly thirty years ago, after the Islamic Revolution, many of which have been very successful in business.

Iranian expatriates always feel a nostalgia about their Iran and try to carry it with them. For most of them, what represents Iran is the photos of Iranian ancient monuments such as Persepolis and Pasargad, Iranian delicious and unique cuisine and Iranian dance and pop music.

The second and third generation of these expats are growing up, many of which can’t read and write in Persian or Farsi, but this doesn’t mean that their passion for knowing more about their homeland is less than their parents. There is a language barrier, and the fact that Iranian cultural creativity has not received the attention it deserves from the parents. It seems that the most important part of the nationhood has been overlooked, though: The culture of Iran, today.

There are many authors and artists living in Iran or abroad who have been continuously contributing to the cultural heritage of the world. Many of these works are available to read in English or other languages, or to see in museums, galleries, on the silver screen, in your local DVD store, or online.

Many of these works amount to masterpieces, they are brilliant, and they deserve the support of their compatriots. In this competitive world, we, these writers and artists compatriots, are their only chances for letting the world know about the real Iranian heritage, the true art that is alive today, as alive as the classical Persian literature is, and much more important than Persepolis for the world today.

In this small website I will try to introduce the best of Iranian contemporary art and literature, according to my judgment. But I will need your help in spreading the word, contributing to this website, and most importantly, ordering and supporting the works represented here.

If you wish to leave a message or suggest a work that you think deserves to be represented here, please leave me a message here.

Arash Hejazi

  1. #1 by Davoud Rastgou on November 28, 2010 - 8:18 pm

    Dear Arash, I am am actor who have previously worked with Ken Loach , recently in Arash Riahis “For a moment freedom”and done voice over on Oliver Stone’s Alexander the great. I have also been considered to play the lead in Darush Shokof’s upcoming movie about his kidnapping. Further I have worked with material from Bergman, Chekov, Strindberg and de Obaldia, and worked with prominent Scandinavian dramatists and artists like Suzanne Osten, Carl Johan Seth and Imor Herman. I also have written and produced work for radio for radio. I left London10 months ago to settle down in USA. It took unprecedently longer than I thought, so I needed to come back where I was before coming to London ie Sweden. I am more than willing cooperating on Backpack, more willing coming to London however I need to ask you whether you can provide paid positions for artist working on this, since it would enable me to move to London again and work closely together. I speak English, Persian(native) and Swedish and can write and act in all these three languages. You can see my showreel/filmclips/cv and headdhot by visiting: spotlight.com and log in with view pin: 4617-1270-3041. Preferably call me or email if too busy but let me know. If you need references you can ask mr Iraj Jannati Atayi or Ken Loach(or his CD at sixteen filma Kahleen Crawford) about me. Best; Davoud Rastgou

  2. #2 by Arshama on November 28, 2010 - 11:45 pm

    Thank you for your excellent idea! Late Hushang Golshiri once proposed the establishment of a foundation for promoting Persian literature in Europe and the U.S., but as far as I know no one has ever attempted to realise his (and my) dream. Promoting Persian fiction is a serious business in a well established market, largely neglected by Iranian publishers who unfortunately make no attempt to promote their authors seriously on an international scale. In consequence most translations of Persian fiction are rather randomly selected than representing the wide range of contemporary authors, at least in Germany.
    Perhaps you could find a way to promote such a foundation in the UK.
    As to German translations you will find a choice here: http://www.buecher.de/shop/romane–erzaehlungen/orte–laender/iran/products_list/list/vnode/7493/
    And here (just enter “Iran” in the first case) http://www.litprom.de/no-cache/quellenverzeichnis_suche.html

  3. #3 by minoo on November 28, 2010 - 11:52 pm

    We are very blessed to have people like you trying to spread our literature, art and culture through western mainstream.

  4. #4 by Arshama on November 29, 2010 - 12:01 am

    • #5 by Admin on November 29, 2010 - 10:01 pm

      Thanks a lot Arshama. Well spotted.

  5. #6 by jams o donnell on December 3, 2011 - 9:21 pm

    Your editor’s message says it all. I am British and until a few years ago I knew virtually nothing about Iranian art and literature apart from a few great films.I was fortunate to get to know an Iranian artist initially via the internet. Thanks to a couple of bits of good luck I had my eyes opened!

    I am lucky that some Iranian literature and poetry is available in translation (my Farsi runs to about three words!) but I wish it was better known here in England. For example a work like The Blind Owl, for example, should be viewed widely as the masterpiece it is!

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