A preview of the Edinburgh Iranian Festival 2013
The festival brings together film, music, visual art, and comedy in the shape of Patrick Monahan
When you mention Iran in the current climate, most people think of the politics of the country. But there is of course more to the place than what we see in the news – and the 2013 Edinburgh Iranian Festival is our opportunity to learn more about Iranian heritage. ‘I feel like one of the main ways to bring people together and help integration of non-British people into British society is to help them understand each other and each other’s cultures,’ says Sara Kheradmand, who has been coordinating the festival since 2009.
‘In the past, we’ve noticed that the films and lecture series have been really popular, while things like music can seem more alien so we’ve tried to address that in this year’s programme with the Grand Music Concert (Studio 24, Sat 9 Feb) with traditional music, rock bands and DJs.’
The event, presented by Irish-Iranian comedian Patrick Monahan, winner of ITV’s Show Me The Funny, will feature Kurdish and Persian music, while elsewhere in the festival there is the chance to see Persian opera (St John’s Church, Fri 1 Feb) and Iranian jazz (Art’s Complex, St Margaret’s House, Wed 6 Feb). Other highlights of the programme include a celebration of Iranian cinema at the Filmhouse (Thu 7–Sun 17 Feb), in collaboration with Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace. Art from Iran is a day of special events at the National Museum of Scotland (Sun 3 Feb), including a traditional music workshop, an Azadi dance performance piece in the main gallery and a Persian calligraphy workshop, while the festival’s other main art exhibition, Borders (Wed 6–Sat 16 Feb, Art’s Complex, St Margaret’s House) features artists from Iran, Europe, America and South Korea contributing video installations, sculpture, photography and illustration.
Various venues, Edinburgh, Fri 1–Sat 16 Feb.