|The Azadi (Freedom) Tower, formerly known as Shahyad Aryamehr or King memorial tower|
It is funny how much time has elapsed between my last post on the first trip to Iran and this and how the 'second instalment' was never published, even if it is there, almost ready and will probably follow this one.
While that one focuses on a particular object (the janamaz I had made for my mother in law, who recently passed away) and explains the reasons behind the title of the post, this post will mainly show some of the photographs, taken in August 2012 whilst in Iran.
|Drinking espresso coffee and sour cherry juice in an 'Art' Cafe in Teheran, one of the many cafes where students and couples can go and meet freely without nobody bothering them.|
Iranians are proud of their heritage and with the future looking more and more uncertain, they prefer to look back to the past to reinforce their sense of identity and find the strength to carry on with their lives in the face of difficult times.
But what past? Where do you draw the line? Some prefer to look back to the very ancient past, some to the more recent one, especially the younger generations who haven't experienced personally the previous regime. Some regret the ' Arab invasion' but at the same time do not want to reject the whole Islamic culture, and most do prefer a 'middle way' if they can find one (Where does all that fundamentalism come from? I fail to see any trace of it among ordinary people, they seem a rather accommodating and inclusive lot!).
I am by no means qualified to even try and find an answer, I can only share this more than legitimate question, and hope that Iranians will rather find a way and a reason to look to the future. The cry for social justice and technological progress should go hand in hand with the quest for personal and political freedom.
Not that the West has much to teach in that respect!
On the way to Kashan
|Service area on the way to Kashan|
|Main entrance to the Bagh-e-Fin in Kashan, a traditional garden, whose origins go back to the Safavid period.|
He is now regarded as a symbol and a national hero.
|Reconstruction of the murder of Amir Kabir with original objects on display , inside the bath house (hummam), next to the actual room where the murder was committed.|
|Channel with fountains|
|One of the pools|
|One of the rooms of the Hummum|
|Model of a traditional loom|
|Some examples of traditional weaves, patterns and design|
Unfortunately this shows only fragments of an immensely rich textile tradition. Some of the patterns can be seen on the decoration of the ceiling, as it often happens that they can be used interchangeably in both textiles and architecture (and I suspect in other materials/ techinques throughout the decorative and applied arts)
|Ceiling showing details of the Gol-va Morgh (Flower and Bird) design, one of the most popular and beloved Persian patterns, frequently used as a decorative motif on carpets.|
|Detail of the Gol-va-Morgh pattern on a tablecloth|
|Tablecloth featuring the gol-va- morgh pattern|
Which the girls enjoyed thoroughly!
|Sara with cousins Maryam and Mobina|
|The 'buggy' or doroshkeh decorated with some Qajari imagery|