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Dream of Peace in Persian Gulf

15th Environmental Art Festival in Iran at the Persian Gulf (January 2008)

Report by Ahmad Nadalian

Photos by Raheleh Zomorodinia, Mithra Soltani, Mohamad Saybani and Ahmad Nadalian.

Thanks to Mohamd Saybani, Mohammad Banoj, Tarta Ghodarzi, Raheleh Zomorodinia, Atefeh Khas, Mahmood Maktabi, Shahrnaz Zarkesh and Zahra Shafiabadi.
This festival had no sponsor. The young artists paid for the cost of their trip, food, and supplies they needed to create their art works.

Photo discription (on Sunday July 3, 1988, Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655) which was a commercial flight operated by from Bandar Abbas, Iran to Dubai. The aircraft flying IR655 was shot down by the U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes between Bandar Abbas and Dubai, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children, 8 of them less than 2 years old. The Vincennes was inside Iranian territorial waters at the time of the shoot-down. According to the U.S. government, the Iranian aircraft was mistakenly identified as an attacking military fighter. Unfurtunetly the United States government however has, to date, never officially apologized to the Iranian People.)

In the past two years there has been a great demand for environmental art in Iran. Many young artists from different parts of Iran invite me to be part of different environmental events and realize their art works in nature. They are many and I can not have all of them in one occasion, but I have been pleased to organize different events and respond to this essential need of our society. Environmental art is the art of the future. We can learn how to behave with nature. I wish in the future we could have one environmental art event per day.
Last month (December 2007) we held an environmental art festival in the Persian Gulf.

For the occasion of this festival, my American friend Barbara Roux sent her new poem. I suggested printing her poem on paper and role them, put them inside of plastic bottles available on the coast and leave them in the water of the sea.

Map of Hormoz and locations of works

On the 26th of January 2008, fifty artists accompanied me and we traveled to the Persian Gulf (Hormoz Island). More than 50 local artists joined us and we realized a new environmental art event. I was responsible to select artists and act as an art director. So far, I was responsible for 15 environmental art festivals in Iran. There were many more event and projects.

Our new environmental art festival focused on a campaign against war. Thanks go to my international friends Barbara Roux and Abigail Doan from the USA, Sibyll Kalff from Germany, who support us, share their experience and sent their designs. Works by Eric Van Hove and Richard Thomas inspired us to create typography and pattern in nature. British artist Benjamin Hewett, who is now in Iran, joined involved collaborative art projects with us.

A design suggested by my American artist friend, Abigail Doan. I used local red earth pigment to paint her 'swallows' image on the rocks of Hormoz.

For me, the idea of having international artists participate or contribute is very important and symbolically could show the willingness and desire of world nations to work together towards peace.



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