Don’t Go to Iran, or Maybe Let’s Go

Okay, so Iran has a lot of work ahead in the realm of human rights, although many other countries do too. And even if this is a promotional video, we can agree that the greatness and beauty of Iran are its people, cities and countryside — and that beauty exists above and beyond its politics and shortcomings. Should we not go? read more

Ruins — Depicting the Results of War on Yemeni Walls

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Artist Murad Subay depicts the challenges and troubling results of Yemen’s civil war by creating murals and graffiti, drawing attention to the plight of fellow Yemenis and remembrance to thousands of lives lost. Motifs are placed among the bombed ruins underscoring the ongoing warfare and subsequent ravaged landscape. The project is Murad’s fifth undertaking titled Ruins. Choosing wall spaces bordering war zones, the painting and installation was often interrupted by fighting, loss of electricity, and resources. Sometimes supported by fellow artist Thi Yazen, Murad would also enlist the participation of the Yemini community to assist in painting images — thus making the graphical statements communal and not only his own. read more

Iranian Women and Their Robots

The women are on board for the RoboCup IranOpen 2016, an international research and educational initiative whose purpose is to increase exploration of artificial intelligence along with supporting technology and engineering. And of course, being Iran, the presiding themes are those of domination of one group over another — conquering those who oppose you — aggressively undermining opponents — or, as they like to call it, soccer. read more

Architecture as Weaponry: Devastation by Design

The documentary, Rebel Architecture — The Architecture of Violence, by journalist and filmmaker Ana Naomi de Sousa features Israeli architect Eyal Weizman who describes how architecture and urban planning are deployed as an instruments of violence and control. By examining how Israel divides land; installs roads, highways, walls, and fences; commands hilltops, and strategically designs homes and its settlements, we see how architecture and urban planning are used to enact ongoing and effective engulfing of the Occupied Territories and enacting chaos among Palestinian residents. read more

Akram Abu al-Fawz Repurposes Syria’s War Weaponry Into Art Objects

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It is estimated that more that a quarter of a million people have died, and eleven million are displaced in what is now five years of civil war in Syria with no end in sight. With the well-documented dispossession and death, however, comes creative reinterpretation of the war-torn landscape and the deadly weapons that deliver this destruction. Artist Akram Abu al-Fawz collects remnants of weaponry and transforms them into objects of art, adorning them with arabesque motifs and perhaps re-rendering them in motifs that immobilize their destructive meaning. read more