Douglas Adams (English author)
In order to fly, all one must do is simply miss the ground.
Iran director, actor awarded at Venice festival’s side event
An international, prestigious cultural foundation in Italy, Blue Knowledge, awarded Iranian-Armenian director of ‘Yeva’, Anahid Abad, with the Marco Polo Project Award on the sidelines of Venice International Film Festival.
Iranian actor, who is known for his role in ‘Queen’ and ‘A Five Star’, Homayoun Ershadi also received the same award.
The award was part of the Marco Polo Project of the Blue Knowledge – a cultural foundation established in 1992 with the initial aim of supporting cultural projects in Africa. Over the years, it expanded its activities to cover all cultural fields, including art, cinema, literature and music. Blue Knowledge organizes events, seminars and workshops and grants awards to spread and promote art across the world, ifilmtv.com reported.
Blue knowledge was in charge of screening the film and is slated to fund Abad’s next film project.
‘Yeva’ was screened on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 76th Venice festival which wrapped up on September 7 in Italy. The prestigious festival opened on August 28 with the screening of ‘The Truth’, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda.
The film is about a young woman named Yeva who escapes her influential in-laws with her daughter Nareh, after her husband’s tragic death and takes refuge in one of the villages in the disputed enclave of Karabakh, Armenia.
Four Iranians picked as ICOM members
Art & Culture Desk
Three Iranian museum curators Golnaz Golsabahi, Fatemeh Ahmadi and Damon Monzavi and ICOM-Iran director Ahmad Mohit-Tabatabaei were elected to be the members of International Council of Museums (ICOM).
They were picked at the 25th general conference of the ICOM which was held at Kyoto, Japan, from September 1-7, ISNA wrote.
Golsabahi, the museum curator of Cultural Institution of Mostazafan Foundation Museums, was elected as a member of the executive board of ICOM.
For the second time, curator of Tehran-based Iran Medical Sciences History Museum was elected as a member of the executive board of UMAC, the International Committee for University Museums and Collections.
In 2013, she was also elected as the UMAC executive member at the 24th General Conference of ICOM which was held in Milan.
Damon Monzavi, managing director of Gem Stones Museum at Tehran’s Sa’dabad Historical-Cultural Complex, was appointed as the member of ICOMON, the ICOM’s International Committee for Money and Banking Museums.
In 2013, he became the advisor to Marjo Ritta Saloniemi, chairperson of Marketing and Public Relations (MPR) at the ICOM’s International Committee for Marketing and Public Relations.
For the second time in a row, ICOM-Iran director Ahmad Mohit-Tabatabaei was elected as the executive board members of ASPAC, the ICOM Regional Organization for Asia and the Pacific.
The 25th general conference of ICOM hosted about 4,000 experts from more than 110 countries and territories gathering to discuss a wide range of topics, including the problems being faced by museums and the roles they should play.
Tofuzi 2019 to host two Iranian animations
Two Iranian animations ‘Stair’ directed by Siamak Vahed and ‘Sink’ by Mahboubeh Kalaei will be screened at the 11th Tofuzi International Festival of Animated Film in Batumi, Georgia.
‘Stair’ and ‘Sink’ will take part at the adult competition program and student competition section of the festival respectively, ISNA wrote.
“The candle was flickering…I went outside and found myself on the stairs,” reads the short synopsis of the Vahed’s animation.
In ‘Sink’, dregs of coffee shaped like a man and a woman come out of two cups left in the sink.
Tofuzi International Festival of Animated Film will take place on October 21 to 26 in the city of Batumi, capital of Adjara, Georgia.
The festival aims to encourage the exchange of creative experiences, search of new ideas, styles and technologies, according to the event’s website.
Tomb of Süleyman the Magnificent to be turned into museum
Later this year the site in Hungary which includes the tomb of a revered Ottoman sultan will be turned into an open-air museum, according to a Turkish official.
Seda Dağlı, Budapest head for the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Turkey’s state-run aid agency, told Anadolu Agency that during his 16th-century reign, Süleyman the Magnificent was a leader who left his mark on the whole world.
Dağlı said she hopes the current cooperation between TİKA and the Hungarian government as well as Hungarian academia will grow even stronger.
TİKA and the city government in Szigetvar, the town in southern Hungary where Süleyman’s tomb lies, signed an agreement in 2012 on an excavation and research project for the tomb and its surroundings.
The excavations found the lost tomb of the sultan as well as other historical remains, and the area was put under protection in 2017.
The area, the only Ottoman-founded settlement in Hungary, is now being transformed into an open-air museum, and the work is set to be done on the project by the end of this year.
Süleyman the Magnificent, one of the Ottoman Empire’s most powerful sultans, lost his life due to illness while leading the siege of Szigetvar Castle in 1566.
His internal organs were buried in Szigetvar, but his body was taken back to the Ottoman capital Istanbul for burial.
His son, Sultan Selim II, built a tomb for his father in Szigetvar and a complex to surround it.
But the tomb and its complex were lost when Hungary fell to Austria at the end of the 17th century.
‘The Europeans’ by Orlando Figes review: Importance of a shared culture
By William Boy*
In August 1871 the great Russian writer Ivan Turgenev went to Pitlochry, in Perthshire, to join a shooting party on some Victorian magnate’s estate. Turgenev in Pitlochry! I know the town well but had never realized that he had strolled through its streets. This is one of a multitude of fascinating pieces of information to be gleaned from Orlando Figes’s magisterial and wide-ranging book ‘The Europeans’. Another intriguing observation: While he was in Pitlochry, Turgenev met the poet Robert Browning. “Browning is extremely vain and not at all amusing,” he wrote to a friend. “His son gives the impression of a very nice boy with a large wart on the end of his nose.”
Turgenev is at the center of this book as are two other people intimately connected to him and his life – the famous opera singer Pauline Viardot and her husband, Louis. This trio and their interlinked lives form a kind of portal to a cultural history of 19th-century Europe and the way that the continent evolved and transformed itself, through new technologies, into the collective of countries that is still recognizable today.
Louis is a hard figure to pin down – he remains somewhat blurry and undefined. Pauline is more straightforward – the Maria Callas of her era, you could say. A very successful woman in a world dominated by men, she made a great deal of money and parlayed her remarkable talent into a long and influential life and career. Her circle of friends and acquaintances reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of 19th-century culture: Clara Schumann, George Sand, Berlioz, Dickens, Wagner, Saint-Saëns, Gounod, Chopin, Flaubert, Massenet, Meyerbeer, Rossini, Liszt, Delacroix and so on. She was no beauty. Henry James, another of her circle, described her as “as ugly as eyes in the sides of her head and an interminable upper lip can make her”.
What also emerges from Figes’s book is a beguiling biography of Turgenev. An aristocrat, not without funds, he didn’t follow the accepted career path of his peers (army or the civil service) and chose instead to become a writer. He was 6ft 3in – in 19th-century Europe that made him a veritable giant – and a passionate Europhile. As well as his native Russian, he spoke fluent German, French and good English. His obsession with Pauline meant that he spent most of his life outside Russia – he travelled constantly – and yet with the publication of ‘Sketches from a Hunter’s Album’, ‘Fathers and Sons’ and ‘Smoke’ he became the leading figure of the Russian literary renaissance, the great precursor of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov.
Figes’s remit in this book is not just a chronicle of the interweaving lives of Turgenev and the Viardots. Through their professions and their movements around Europe, Figes is able to depict a history of a continent in constant change. As the technological advances of the 19th century arrived – railways, telegraph, photography, vastly improved printing, lithography, mass production of pianos, universal copyright legislation – the impact on the world of the arts was startling and transformative. In 1909 Saint-Saëns wrote to Pauline towards the end of her life: “How many changes have you witnessed …? The railways, steamships, telegraphs, gaslights, electric telegrams and lighting … and now there are cars that move on their own, speaking telegraphs and airplanes … You made your debut when Rossini and Bellini were at the height of their glory; you saw, after the brilliant reign of Meyerbeer, how – and from what fogs – the art of Richard Wagner rose … and now the rise of Richard Strauss’s art, the precursor of the world’s end.”
Figes is concerned with delineating the rise of a new pan-European culture – linked by and driven by all the technological advances of the age and, because of them, more interconnected. Stretching from St. Petersburg to Paris, Berlin, London, Baden-Baden, Dresden, Rome, Vienna and elsewhere, “Continental Europe” became a viable geographical proposition. Books were widely translated; music could flourish beyond frontiers and boundaries; singers and musicians could travel swiftly on the proliferating railways; impresarios could put on operas in a dozen countries; pictures bought in Italy could be sold in London; and, importantly, artists could make serious money. As Europe opened up technologically, so to speak, so too did the financial opportunities – art became a business, a commodity. In the late 19th century all the arts in Europe were booming.
There is, however, a valedictory, subtextual import to the encyclopedic history Figes has written. The pan-European culture that Turgenev and the Viardots saw emerging was sundered by two world wars. Since 1945, Europe has largely been at peace. The astonishing artistic to-and-fro that exists today would be one Figes’s subjects would recognize instantly. The current potential fracturing of that European unity is an awful warning. As Figes says in his introduction, he hopes his book will “serve as a reminder of the unifying force of European civilization, which Europe’s nations will ignore at their peril”. One has little confidence that the current galère of egomaniacs, self-serving charlatans, idiots and spittle-flecked Europhobes that run our politics will listen, let alone read a book as relevant, trenchant and searching as this one. But maybe – with a bit of good luck – that intense, vibrant, interlinked European cosmopolitanism, established over the last two centuries, will triumph in the end.
* William Boyd’s latest novel, ‘Love Is Blind’, is published by
Viking. ‘The Europeans: Three Lives and the Making of a
Cosmopolitan Culture’ is published by Allen Lane.