Simorgh, curated by Narimon Safavi

Just as modern Iran, as depicted by this exhibition may at times seem melancholic or even depressed to the uninitiated eyes; to those aware of the Iranian history , the people of the country may seem quietly resilient and have a subdued confidence of a three millenia old culture of survivors. Surely current Iran is in part a product of a Utopian revolution and a devastating war with Iraq , as well as international sanctions. Sense of Global Isolation , selective nostalgia for the era before the revolution and a collective deprivation complex from worldly opportunities are all too common.

Yet, what distinguishes Iranians from many other nations that have disappeared from the face of the earth in the last 2500 years, is their subversive ability ( a gift from their poetry and art ) to survive the adversities of history and to reinvent themselves. Iran has re-risen to the level of a global power three times in its history after devastating defeats from outsiders as well as overcoming tyranny from insider. Hence , the SIMORGH , or the Persian Phoenix is the apt metaphor for my presentation , and my protestation of the title of this exhibition. What usually follows the burning of a generation is re-generation. -Narimon Safavi


Museum of Contemporary Photography

at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

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