Shahre Ghesseh, 2012
Farsi for City of Tales

Ball Pen and Adhesive Foil on Paperboard, 145 x 205 cm (each 70 x 100 cm)

The series of drawings is inspired by an allegorical satire written in form of a musical play and using elements of Iranian folklore. Shahre Ghesseh is perhaps the most popular of all Persian plays. It was written by Bijan Mofid (1967) in traditional rhythmic style that resulted in a kind of musical drama. Although at first glance it seems to have been written for children, its main audience is adults. The play is in fact a parable about contemporary socio-political issues.

 

Shahre Ghesseh شهر قصه , Shahram Entekhabi © 2102 شهرام انتخابی Shahre Ghesseh شهر قصه , Shahram Entekhabi © 2102 شهرام انتخابی
Shahre Ghesseh شهر قصه , Shahram Entekhabi © 2102 شهرام انتخابی

Shahre Ghesseh شهر قصه , Shahram Entekhabi © 2102 شهرام انتخابی

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Shahre Ghesseh tells the story of an elephant who arrives in a town of animals, filled with illustrious characters such as the mullah incorporated by a fox, a poet incorporated by a parrot, a carpenter-donkey, an intellectual-monkey, a tailor-goat,...

When the elephant – the main character of Shahre Ghesseh – arrives in town, he sprawls and breaks one of his tusks. The townsfolk, realizing what has happened, offer to fix the elephant by placing the tusk on his forehead and snipping off his trunk. Shahre Ghesseh is referring to some critical points in Iranian governmental policy such as the high unemployment rate, the loss of traditional craftsmanship in favor of a mass production of goods but also characterizes some elements of Iranian mentality and modal social qualities such as paranoia, superstition and xenophobia.