For the Artist:
Moshtari Hilal (b. Kabul) is an artist and illustrator based in Hamburg, Germany. With her body of often semi-autobiographical work, she aims to generate an understanding for the complexity of identities. She illustrates hybrid characters in order to question stereotypes and the idea of strict collective identities. Her portraits explore the possibilities of beauty and storytelling within a political environment through faces. Hilal’s work was on display in Germany, Afghanistan, Denmark, USA, Canada. Buy here.
2. “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” by Kino Lorber
The Amazon description reads: “Strange things are afoot in Bad City. The Iranian ghost town, home to prostitutes, junkies, pimps, and other sordid souls, is a place that reeks of death and hopelessness, where a lonely vampire is stalking the towns most unsavory inhabitants. But when boy meets girl, an unusual love story begins to blossom…blood red.
The first Iranian Vampire Western, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave. Amped by a mix of Iranian rock, techno and Morricone-inspired riffs, its airy, anamorphic, black-and-white aesthetic and artfully drawn-out scenes combine the simmering tension of Sergio Leone with the surrealism of David Lynch.”
3. “Women Without Men“
The Amazon description reads: “Iranian-born visual artist Shirin Neshat is known for her hauntingly beautiful explorations of Islam and gender relations. Over the past 15 years, Neshat has created provocative expressions drawn on her personal experiences in exile, and on the widening political and ideological rift between the West and the Middle East. Her potent statements in still and moving images evoke the struggles that define her.”
“Shirin Neshat’s independent film adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s magic realist novel. The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953; a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history when an American led, British backed coup d’état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power.”
Buy here. Time Magazine writes: “A memoir of growing up as a girl in revolutionary Iran, Persepolis provides a unique glimpse into a nearly unknown and unreachable way of life… That Satrapi chose to tell her remarkable story as a gorgeous comic book makes it totally unique and indispensable.”