Symposium: The Shiraz Arts Festival

NEW YORK, October 5, 2013 — Held in conjunction with the Asia Society Museum exhibition Iran Modern, Asia Society's daylong symposium focused on the Shiraz Persepolis Festival of Arts, which was held annually for 11 years from 1967 to 1977 in the cities of Shiraz and Persepolis in central Iran. Accompanied by symposia and debates, the festival program included music, dance, drama, poetry and film, performed in a variety of venues in Shiraz and surrounding areas. The festival was one of the most prominent international arts events held at that time. Focused on the traditional and avant-garde arts, the festival brought world-class artists from across the globe. The festival sought out and showcased gifted Iranian artists old and young who relished sharing the stage with fellow artists from India, Japan and Indonesia all the way through Africa and the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. The exposure to the traditional as well as the experimental brought together creativity and inspiration and the opportunity to experiment. The significant works premiered during the 11 years of the festival provided a profound impact at the time that can still be felt today.


Related Content

Article: "Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis OR You better believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast" by Mahasti Afshar (PDF)

Article: "Festival of Arts — A Point of View" by Mohammad Ghaffari

Article: "Perspectives on the Shiraz Arts Festival: A Radical Third World Rewriting" by Vali Mahlouji

Full text: Keynote by Her Majesty Farah Pahlavi (PDF)

Speaker bios and program notes (PDF)



Keynote: Her Majesty Farah Pahlavi (17 min., 1 sec.)



Lecture: Arby Ovanessian — The Shiraz Festival, An Artist's Perspective (43 min., 40 sec.)



Panel 1: Iranian Artists Look Back, with Mahasti Afshar, Mohammad Ghaffari, Arby Ovanessian and Khosro Shayesteh (57 min., 12 sec.)



Panel 2: The West Goes to Iran, with Margaret Croyden, Angela Pietropinto, Andrei Serban and Valda Setterfield (38 min., 3 sec.)



Panel 3: The Face of Traditional Iran, with William Beeman, Peter Chelkowski and Mohammad Ghaffari (47 min., 22 sec.)



Conversation: Iranian Artists — Another Look, with Farhad Mechkat and Hamid Dabashi (35 min., 21 sec.)



Panel 4: The Legacy for a New Generation, with Vali Mahlouji, Mohammad Aghebati and Negar Azimi (49 min., 23 sec.)



Additional Links

Excerpt: How Robert Wilson Once Staged a Play in Iran That Lasted 168 Hours

View all Iran Modern-related programs