Posts

Arts and the Urban Commons: New Visions for a Phoenix City

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  SpaceX Event, LTB Showrooms, Coventry. July 1, 2022.  I was invited to speak at SPACEX event co-organised by the  Centre for Postdigital Cultures and  LTB Showrooms  in Coventry.  SPACEX (Spatial Practices in Art and ArChitecture for Empathetic EXchange) is a European Union-sponsored " transdisciplinary research action, comprising of 1 3 universities and academies and 16 cultural organisations, across 11 EU countries with 1 partner in Palestine, which tends to " respond to the troubling rise of populist nationalism and conflict in European societies by engaging new publics and forging a culture that embraces diversity, difference, and discursive exchange within cities, towns and urban sites." The event entitled ‘Arts and the urban commons: new visions for the phoenix city’, will address  "the issues arising from Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture. We will hear from artists, curators, researchers and local citizens, this will give an insight into some of the cu

City, Public Space & Body

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  I co-organised an international conference titled: City, Public Space & Body , hosted by the  Goldsmiths' ICCE Department . The conference was virtual and took place on 14-15 December 2021. For further details, please see the conference website .  Conference Theme The growing of urban population and the rapid change of urban environments, accelerated even more in the current century, entails challenges to defining and practising public spaces in cities. The public space, its implications and accompanied expectations, its embodiment and consequent social impacts, have been the focus of ongoing theorisation and debates. Ideally, the dynamics of gathering in and passing through urban public spaces, indoor and outdoor –from streets, squares, parks, libraries, museums, to other cultural and leisure centres – could lead to a culture more open to differences. Yet, in our time, governmental power and the force of privatisation have been inflicted upon these spaces, squeezed not only

'The Right to the City' and the Problem of Tehran

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  'The Right to the City' and the Problem of Tehran Published in AMPS Proceedings Series 24.2 (chapter 23, p. 233-243) I presented this piece as part of the panel:  Political Economy and the City , in the  ‘Cities in a Changing World: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design’ conference, jointly hosted by AMPS and City Tech , City University of New York, 16-18 June 2021. Synopsis ‘The right to the city is like a cry and a demand’, wrote Henri Lefebvre in his 1968 book Le droit à la ville . In the noted urban scholar Peter Marcuse’s words, Lefebvre’s right is ‘a cry out of necessity and a demand for something more’. Despite rather astonishing efforts of former IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) Commander turned mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, to portray a deceptive picture of Tehran on a global stage – either by inviting world-renowned urban thinkers such as Setha Low, David Harvey and Saskia Sassen, or by being invited as a key-note speaker by world-renowned institution

In Search of A Ruined City: Revisiting Tehran's Red-Light District

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Photograph by Abbas Attar, Tehran, 1979 Below is a synopsis of my paper:  In Search of A Ruined City: Revisiting Tehran's Red-Light District which I'll be presenting in the Thirteenth Biennial Iranian Studies Conference ,  jointly  hosted by  Association for Iranian Studies  and Universidad De Salamanca . Venue: Faculty of Philology, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.  August 30 - September 2, 2022.  Synopsis “Suddenly I see the crowds and I’m getting very excited. Then I see a body; a burned body being carried out on [the] shoulders. I remember. It was so quick. I was on a platform. I raised my camera and it was a blank shot. I just took it there. Few shots, and the body goes away.” These are the words of the Iranian photographer, Abbas Attar, describing his extraordinarily haunting shot captured in central Tehran on 29 January 1979, only a few days before the fall of the Shah. Earlier that day, the fervent revolutionaries had burned down Tehran’s red-light district. T

The House of Tyranny: Thoughts on Iran’s Pyramid of Power

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Representatives of the first Iranian parliament, National Military Academy, Tehran, Iran, 1906.  The National Library and Archives of Iran, World Digital Library,  The House of Tyranny: Thoughts on Iran’s Pyramid of Power , a piece I presented  as part of the panel: 'Exhibiting Democracies - Religious and Colonial Assemblies', in  Parliament Buildings Conference  hosted by  the Bartlett School of Architecture and the UCL European Institute. 

The Oil and the Brick; Tales of a Scotsman in Persia

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  ‘Abadan — The Fruit of British Industry that Persia Covets.’ The Illustrated London News, 8 September 1951 (cited in Damluji, 2013) The Oil and the Brick; Tales of a Scotsman in Persia Ahmadreza Hakiminejad On a late-spring day in 1901, the King of Persia signed a notorious concession and gave the English millionaire William Knox D’Arcy the rights to prospect for and market oil. Seven years later, the black substance was no longer a mystery in the  land of Persia . In 1909, the London-based Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was born and by 1912, the liquid began to flow in the pipeline from the oil fields of  Masjed Soleyman  to what was yet to become the world’s largest refinery on the desert island of Abadan; putting a poor, deprived village on the map. This was the time when, far from Abadan, a 25-year-old Scotsman, through “a remarkable stroke of good fortune” [1], was about to join the office of Edwin Lutyens – the empire’s eminent architect – who had just been commissioned to cr

'The Hole' and other photographs

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'The Hole' and other photographs (Prints for Sale)  This peculiar view of Paris's beautiful monster (The Hole, 2015), is now available for sale via Photos.com provided by Getty Images. You are also invited to visit my photo gallery on Fine Art America  where you can order prints in a variety of frames and sizes.