art4d SPECIAL ISSUE ‘TEHRAN TODAY’ FEATURES INTERVIEWS WITH ARCHITECTS, GRAPHIC DESIGNERS, ARTISTS, A CURATOR, A CULTURAL MANAGER AND CREATORS OF THE COUNTRY’S LEADING BOOKS AND MAGAZINES WHO ARE WORKING IN TEHRAN. IN OUR EYE-OPENING CONVERSATIONS, WE TALKED WITH THEM ABOUT THEIR VIEWS ON THE CHANGES HAPPENING TO THE CAPITAL CITY AND THE LIVING OF A PARALLEL LIFE IN THE PLACE THEY CALL HOME.
The period of almost a week in Tehran may not be long enough to provide a clear understanding of what Iran or its capital city really are, for we cannot fully comprehend the reasons behind the nature of the city’s physical development and its people. Nevertheless, it was enough for us to demolish the preconceived notions we had for the country and the people of Iran as we begin to reassemble bits and pieces of experiences we accumulated while meeting and talking with almost 10 individuals from the art, cultural and design communities of Tehran, including the people we met in the street throughout our journey. Surely, while many things are far different from what we once understood about Iran, there are a lot of other things that we found to be surprisingly familiar.
The history of countries that are ruled by authoritarian regimes, communism or any other forms of government that prevent access or connection to the outside world are often told after the change takes place. As the country opens itself and people get a taste of the freedom they may have never experienced, the life that was once guided by rules and regulations can easily get lost. In the case of Iran, which was once a country of great freedom, having to go through a radical political and ideological change brought about by the Islamic Revolution followed by a war that lasted for almost a decade, before beginning to reopen its doors to the world and free trade again during the Mohammad Khatami administration (1997-2005), and how its dramatic historical background affects the way its people live and make their living, particularly those with professions in the arts and culture, is an interesting question to ask.
We had the opportunity to interview architects, graphic designers, artists, a curator, a cultural manager and creators of the country’s leading books and magazines who are working in Tehran about their previous works and future projects. In our eye-opening conversations, we talked with them about their views on the changes happening to the capital city and the living of a parallel life in the place they call home. And it seems to us that there are so many things they want to share with the world.
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