University of Calgary

University of Calgary

February 05, 2015 10:30 ET

Exhibition of Iranian photography opens in Calgary

First North American showing of pieces exploring war, loneliness and isolation in Iran

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Feb. 5, 2015) - Iranians who grew up during the 1979 revolution and the 1980 - 1988 Iran-Iraq war are called the "burnt generation" because of the violence and political upheaval they have experienced.

Eight photographers who were born in Iran between 1972 and 1990 share their reflections on their country's lengthy political unrest and social upheaval in Burnt Generation, an exhibition opening today at the University of Calgary's Founders' Gallery at The Military Museums of Calgary. It is on display until April 12.

Burnt Generation was fourth on the list of "15 Shows We Want to See in 2015" in Canadian Art magazine, which describes the exhibition as taking "a trenchant and poetic look at everyday life behind the decades-long legacies of war, religion and political unrest in Iran to reveal a universal struggle for individual expression and ideological freedom not so different from our own hopes and dreams."

This is the first time many of the photographs have been shown in North America. The pieces delve into the isolation, loneliness and dissolution of youth as well as and the personal, political and social consequences of war.

"The exhibition draws out many themes including the connection between public and private, domestic and military, connections between traditional masculine and feminine, and the return of people in the military to the domestic sphere and how they overlap," says Lindsey Sharman, the curator at the University of Calgary's Founders' Gallery.

The exhibition is one of nearly 60 featured in the photography festival Exposure 2015 at venues in Calgary, Banff, Canmore and Edmonton. Burnt Generation features the work of artists Ali Nadjian and Ramyar Manouchehrzadeh, Azadeh Akhlaghi, Babak Kazemi, Gohar Dashti, Abbas Kowsari, Newsha Tavakolian, Shadi Ghadirian and Sadegh Tirafkan.

A media preview takes place from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. this morning in the University of Calgary Founders' Gallery at The Military Museums, 4520 Crowchild Trail SW. Fariba Farshad, the Iranian-born, London-based curator of Burnt Generation, will be available for interviews as will Peter Duthie, chair of Exposure 2015. An opening reception and Calgary launch of Exposure 2015 takes place at 7:00 p.m.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation's most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada's top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

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Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Libraries and Cultural Resources, University of Calgary
    Jennifer Sowa
    Manager, Communications and Marketing
    403.389.4794
    jsowa@ucalgary.ca