Forugh Farrokhzad: A Journey Along the Line of Time Panel Discussion

Recorded: March 3, 2024
Event: Bilingual Lecture Series

*Please note, the film is not included due to copyright rules. This video is only of the Panel Discussion.

Forugh Farrokhzad: A Journey Along the Line of Time is a lyrical portrayal of the tumultuous life and works of a renowned poet, filmmaker, actor, and painter, Forugh Farrokhzad, through dramatic readings, archival footage, photos, paintings, manuscripts, interviews with scholars, critics, and poets. In addition, Farrokhzad’s poems are visually explored and interpreted through images that, in comparable ways, depict the emotional anguish of Farrokhzad’s poetic universe and artistic life. Her life was her poetry, and her poetry was her life.

Forugh Farrokhzad is considered one of the greatest Iranian women-modernist poets and filmmakers. Half a century ago, Farrokhzad made a landmark, award-winning documentary film, symbolically called it The House Is Black. Decades later, it is still relevant, beautiful, and intensely moving. Her stunning poetry stretches the boundaries of hope, love, freedom, and humanity.

She made the experience of being a woman in a patriarchal society a central issue of her poetry and fighting for women’s rights at a time when all odds were against her and long before the feminist movement came along. This project is dedicated to her memory, as she lives in our hearts and remains with us through the brilliance of her work and her voice: “It is only the voice that lives on.”

About the Director and Panelists

Hassan Fayyad is an alumnus of UCLA’s film school and a former Member of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts (Iranian Ministry of Culture and Arts), the Faculty of Fine Arts (University of Tehran), and the College of Cinema and Television (National Iranian Radio and Television). Mr. Fayyad has also taught Cinema and Theatre Arts at UCLA, Oxnard College, and Pacific Art Center. He is the first Iranian Lecturer who designed and taught a course about Iranian Cinema at UCLA called “The Poetics and Politics of Iranian Cinema: Pre- and Post-Islamic Revolution.” In addition to teaching Cinema and Theatre Arts in Iran and America, he has written and translated several books and numerous articles on arts and literature.  He is currently working on his documentary trilogy: SiminBehbahani: Love at Eighty, Forugh Farrokhzad: A Journey Along the Line of Time, Ebrahim Golestan: Of Time Bygone.

Nahid Kabiri is a contemporary poet and writer born in Iran. She graduated in Social Sciences from the University of Tehran. Her poetic passion and love for story-telling began to show and dominate her life at a young age. Like others grounded in the quilt of her native land, she was charmed by the rich poetry of Hafez and Khayam. Later, she became captivated by the poetry of contemporaries, such as Nima, Shamloo, and Farokhzad – aspiring to compose her own poetry. Her poetry crackles with a kaleidoscope of life, love, and human tragedy tinged with an exquisite sense of her native culture. Her poetry is impatient of limits and travels into the unknown. Through her intensity of vision, imaginative feat, and generous sampling, she never fails to construct vivid, dramatic scenes, singling out the facets most influential in creating the portrait of her native land. She has published twelve poetry collections, four novels, and six short stories. Two of her novels, ‘Shooting in Buckhead’ and ‘Persian Bride and the Honeymoon cruise,’ have been translated into English and are available on Amazon. Kabiri has been active in the world poetry movement since 2011. She has been invited to the World Poetry Festivals convened in Barcelona, Medellin, Zurich, Dubai, Istanbul, Mallorca, and Atlanta over the last ten years. Her poetry has since been translated into English, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic and Kurdish.

Soheila Saremi is a scholar, teacher, poet, author, editor, and translator. She earned her Ph.D. in Persian Language and Literature from Tehran University, Iran. She has taught Persian literature, language and culture at different universities for years. She has published various articles and books on the field. As a teenager and in her early youth her poems were published in JavananMagazine (mostly in the 70s), and later in different anthologies. Her poetry collections include Taghvim (The Calendar, spring 2003); In Gorbe-yerik (This Dark Cat: containing two books, fall 2013); Mālikhuliā-ye Gol (Flower Melancholy, fall 2014); and Az Abr-Pāre-hāye Zagros (From the Zagros Clouds, spring 2022). Her last collection, The Tired Geography, is under publication. Some of her poems have been translated into Bosnian and English.

Sahba Shayani is Lecturer in Persian Language at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to teaching at UCLA, he was Senior Lecturer in Persian Language at the University of Oxford from 2015-2022. Shayani received his PhD from UCLA’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. His dissertation focused on the role of women in classical Persian Epic Romances, particularly in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Gorgani’s Vis o Ramin, and Nezami’s Khosrow o Shirin.

Mandana Zandian graduated from Shahid Beheshti Medical School in 1997. She worked as a researcher at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles for 20 years, specializing in research on aggressive forms of advanced cancers. Dr. Zandian is also a published poet and author actively collaborating with “Rahavard” quarterly journal. Her books include Omid o Azadi (Hope and Liberty) on the life and works of Iraj Gorgin (Los Angeles, 2012), Baz-khani-e Dah Shab (The Ten-Nights Revisited) (Los Angeles, 2014), and Ehsan Yarshater in Conversation with Mandana Zandian (Los Angeles, 2016.) She also edited Yaddashtha (Diaries), a collection of notes written between 1986-2012 by Dr. Ehsan Yarshater for the journals Irannameh and Iranshenasi (Washington DC, 2021). Zandian’s most recent collection of poems is titled Seda-ye Saye-haye Ham Boodim (Our Voice Echoed the Shadows of all) (Los Angeles, 2019). Zandian is also the host and producer of a podcast on Persian Literature titled “A Window of Freedom.” Her latest book is titled Persian Cypress and the Booms of Modernity, in Conversation with Abbas Milani (Los Angeles, 2023).