Sustainability – Climate Change and the impact from Industry

17 May 2022

Open Source Exhibitions

Open Source #22: Bags For Life – Luke Saxon

1 May - 31 May 2022

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: LOOK Climate Lab 2022

13 January - 20 March 2022

Past Events

An evening with Maytree Poets

28 April 2022

Past Events Events

Recovery in Focus & Inside Stories

14 May 2022

Past Events

Homo Humour film screening & Q&A

7 May 2022


Painting the Mersey in 17 Canvases Coast to Coast to Coast

21 May 2022

Exhibitions Open Source Exhibitions

Open Source #21: Ancestral Folk – Eunice Pais

1 April - 30 April 2022

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

Follow The River, Follow The Thread

1 April - 12 June 2022


Saturday Girl About Town at Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces: Wigan

28 January 2022

Past Exhibitions


31 March - 1 May 2022

Past Events

Who Cares? – Symposium exploring the role of art & design in health & care

26 April 2022

Past Events

Socially Engaged Photography Network: North West regional meet up event ‘Co-authoring the Collection’ 

28 April 2022


9 March 2022


11 March 2022


18 March 2022



23 February - 20 March 2022

Taking Root Bootle – Growing on the Streets: Involving local residents In greening up public spaces

10 March 2022

Liverpool Food Growers Network: Panel Discussion

12 March 2022

Past Events


19 February - 20 March 2022


2 March - 5 March 2022

Session 3: Windowsill Growing with Croxteth Community Garden

12 March 2022

Taster Menu

11 March 2022

Session 2: Dereliction to delicious

11 March 2022

Session 2: Introduction to beekeeping

11 March 2022

Session 1: Dereliction to delicious

11 March 2022

Session 1: Introduction to Beekeeping

11 March 2022

Session 2: Windowsill Growing with Croxteth Community Garden

10 March 2022

Session 2: Relax and Grow

10 March 2022

Session 1: Windowsill Growing with Croxteth Community Garden

10 March 2022

Session 1: Relax and Grow

10 March 2022

Compost Works – An Introduction into Composting

9 March 2022

Hope Community Garden/ Feeding Liverpool: Reimagining your Future Food Neighbourhood

9 March 2022

Liverpool Food Growers Network: Rethinking our Food System

9 March - 12 March 2022

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: NOVUS: Restricted Views – Creative Outlooks

1 December - 12 December 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: Collective Matters

1 October - 12 December 2021


Digital Window Gallery: On the Brink

27 January - 19 March 2022

Exhibitions Open Source Exhibitions

Open Source #20: Matt Dunne

9 February - 28 February 2022

Arts Groupie Workshops

26 February - 19 March 2022

TREE: Live Storytelling Session

19 March 2022

Horti-Culture Sharing Sessions with Arts Groupie and Incredible Edible

19 March - 9 March 2022

Liver Bird Safari with Arts Groupie

26 February - 26 February 2022

Past Events

Shop the Look Project with Emma Summerscales Open studio

11 February 2022

Mersey Green Map

4 February - 14 March 2022

Climate Cafés

26 January - 9 March 2022

Growing Sudley CIC: Nature’s Apothecary Workshops

23 January - 6 March 2022

Cyanotype Workshop with Edd Carr

25 February 2022

Read Now Write Now: Climate Champions Writing Workshops

30 January - 17 March 2022

Hope and Fear

25 January - 30 March 2022

Past Events

Peloton Liverpool Cooperative

16 February - 18 February 2022

Shahr-e Qesseh (City of Tales), written and directed by Bijan Mofid, University Hall, 1968, Courtesy of Courtesy of Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis / Bijan Mofid Foundation
Renga Moi, written and directed by Robert Serumaga, National Theatre of Uganda, Saray-e Moshir, 1975. Courtesy of Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis.

A Utopian Stage

A Utopian Stage: Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis
Curation and Research: Vali Mahlouji

The Festival of Arts was a performance festival held annually in Iran every summer between 1967-77 in and around the city of Shiraz and the ancient ruins of Persepolis. It facilitated a uniquely transformative and radical crucible of artistic exchange and experience. By the early ‘70s Shiraz-Persepolis had become a crucial player in a complex international network of creative expression circumventing divisions of North-South and South-South. In line with the Non-Aligned Movement, it articulated a Third World-ist post-colonial position and negotiated the ideological Cold War demarcations facilitating the exchange of information beyond the Iron Curtain.

Curated by Iranian intellectuals and in line with post-war anti-colonial sensibilities, the festival defied European hierarchical cultural models and discourses. In proposing a universalist model of culture, it put distant voices from Asia and Africa, often for the first time, on the cultural map as valid and equal. Artists found opportunities to investigate shared roots of drama, music and performance in rejecting the conventional definitions of traditional and modern, native and alien. Domestically, the festival opened up a transgressively liberal space within a dictatorship, which was perceived as culturally and politically controversial.

At the time of the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a religious fatwa against the festival in 1978 declaring it culturally decadent and un-Islamic. Many of the Iranian participants were not allowed to work again and all records and materials associated with the festival in Iran remain banned to date.

A Utopian Stage is a project of Archaeology of the Final Decade, a curatorial platform founded in 2010, which researches histories of nations condemned by social displacement, cultural annihilation or deliberate disappearance. AOTFD engages with accounts of culture, which have been lost through material destruction, acts of censorship, political, economic or human contingencies. The research identifies, investigates and re-circulates significant cultural and artistic materials that have remained obscure, under-exposed, endangered, banned or in some instances destroyed.

A four channel video presentation of the Festival of Arts from the Archaeology of the Final Decade is now on display on our Digital Window Gallery. Booklets offering a fuller perspective on the project are available in our independent book shop.

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