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Persian Classics today: contemporary visual interpretations of Medieval Literature

Thursday 15 November 2018, 6.30PM

Speaker(s): Dr Firuza Melville (University of Cambridge)

Abstract: Dr Abdullaeva-Melville will focus on the modern interpretation by contemporary artists of the themes and stories popular in Classical Persian literature. Among the narratives to be discussed will be the various versions of the Qur’anic legend of Yusuf and Zulaykha in Jami’s interpretation, alongside its pre-Islamic Iranian equivalent of Siyavush and Sudaba in Firdawsi’s Shahnama; Hellenistic Phaedra; the Biblical Wife of Potiphar, and other wandering stories. Among the several artists will be mentioned are Farah Ossouli, Siamak Filizadeh, Surenyants, KEM and Sergey Feofanov.

Biography: Dr Firuza Melville is Director of Research at the Cambridge Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies, University of Cambridge.


To book your free ticket click here.





Location: The Treehouse

Admission: Free but booking required using the link provided.

Four Corners of One Cloth: Textiles from the Islamic World

Thursday 29 November 2018, 6.30PM

Speaker(s): Uthra Rajgopal and Amy George (The Whitworth)

Cloth was, and continues to be, a unifier across the Islamic world. The title of this exhibition refers to the Prophet Muhammad bringing together four leaders who all wanted to raise the sacred Black Stone from the ground up to the Ka’ba in Mecca. They placed the stone in the centre of a cloth so that each could take a corner and lift together.

At the heart of this exhibition is a nearly 100-year-old fragment of kiswa cloth. The kiswa covers the Ka’ba and is replaced annually during Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca); each year sections are cut and distributed across the world. This is a textile of religious significance but not all of the works on display are connected to worship. Socks, rugs, bedding and tablecloths are included; objects made in beautiful and careful ways for everyday use.

This talk will explore the making of the exhibition. It will offer an insight into the Islamic textiles in the Whitworth’s collection as well as the contributions made by Manchester’s Islamic communities.

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Location: The Treehouse

Admission: Free but ticket required