Projects

Mccoy Wynne to exhibit at COP26 Universities’ Innovation Showcase

18 October 2021

Events

Holding Time: Launch Event

19 November 2021

Events

The Mutual Respect Manifesto by Glow Creative Learning

25 October 2021

Events

Joseph Lee: Mindful Photo Workshop

4 December 2021

Events

Who’s Left Behind? Part 2: Tadhg Devlin, staff from Community Integrated Care, and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in association with Liverpool SURF group

25 November 2021

Events

Who’s Left Behind? Part 1: Liverpool Cares and MA SEP graduate Vilija Skubute

24 November 2021

Events

Today, Tomorrow and Somewhere in between

11 November 2021

Events

One Day at a Time Boys: Introductory talk and workshop

6 November 2021

Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: CROSSING SECTORS

30 September - 7 November 2021

Exhibitions

Just Between Friends: Runcorn Public Realm

30 September - 12 December 2021

Events

LATE NIGHT OPENING: COLLECTIVE MATTERS

15 October 2021

Events

Collective Matters: Meet and Greet

22 October 2021

Events

Holding the Baby: Banner making workshop

16 October 2021

Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: Tabitha Jussa

17 September - 6 November 2021

Main Exhibition

Collective Matters

1 October - 12 December 2021

Exhibitions

Polly Braden: Holding The Baby

30 September - 31 October 2021

Past Events

Open Rooms #16: Agency of Women

23 September 2021

Projects

PLATFORM ISSUE 04: CROSSROADS

10 September 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: Our Lands

23 August - 19 September 2021

Exhibitions

Imagining Disaster: Essay Series

30 August 2021

Exhibitions

Rivers of the World

6 September 2021

Past Events LOOK Events

Open Rooms #15: Common Ground

8 September 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Instagram Residency: Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley

30 August - 5 September 2021

Past Events

PLATFORM: Issue 4 Launch Party

10 September 2021

Past Events

Imagining Disaster: Contemporary Art X Science Fiction

2 September 2021

Past Events

Launch Party: One Day At A Time

19 August 2021

Past Events

Open Eye Gallery book club presents: Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray

9 September 2021

Past Exhibitions

Sam Batley: ONE DAY AT A TIME

18 August - 19 September 2021

Exhibitions

VR: Wirral Hospitals’ School and MaxLiteracy Award

10 June - 3 September 2021

Past Exhibitions

Return To Nature

30 July 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

VR: First Light New Northern Graduates Exhibition

22 May - 4 July 2021

Past Exhibitions

We Are Nature

30 July - 14 August 2021

Exhibitions

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival — Jessica El Mal: Grounds For Concern

16 July - 15 August 2021

Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: Who We Are

8 July - 31 July 2021

Past Exhibitions

Whose Land Is It?

8 July - 19 September 2021

Exhibitions

VR Student Exhibitions: UCEN

9 June - 13 June 2021

Exhibitions

VR Student Exhibitions: Youth Culture by Whitby High School

23 June - 27 June 2021

Exhibitions

VR Student Exhibitions: Arc with Hugh Baird

16 June - 20 June 2021

Past Events

First Light: Photography Writing Now – Tilt Launch Party

9 July 2021

Past Events

OPEN ROOMS #14: Separated Together

24 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: Whitby High School

23 June - 27 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: UCEN

9 June - 13 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Student Exhibitions: Arc

16 June - 20 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Digital Window Gallery: HOMETOWNS

10 June 2021

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

Digital Window Gallery: Postcards from us x

10 June - 20 June 2021

LightNight 2021: Play

21 May 2021

Heavy Gardening Art Trail Photowalk

21 May 2021

OPEN ROOMS #13: A BALKAN JOURNEY WITH CHRIS LESLIE

17 June 2021

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

First Light New Northern Graduates Exhibition

22 May 2021

Past Events

Open Eye Gallery book club presents: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

3 June 2021

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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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