Happening in New York

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to May 10

FILM FESTIVAL | New York Forum of Amazigh Film

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The New York Forum of Amazigh Film will celebrate the 5th Annual Amazigh Film Festival exploring North African Identitites.

Sponsored by LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, LaGuardia Community College, International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva, and Columbia University Middle East Institute.

Reserve your seat here.

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6:30 PM18:30

TALK | NYU Arts & Sciences Everyday Magic in Iranian Modern Art


Clare Davies, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Part of the Silsila fall 2018 Lecture Series, Matters of Mediation/Bodies of Devotion

"On the way to south Tehran you passed by the main post office. Two or three 'scribes' would be seen sitting on the steps where people could hire them to write a personal letter to family, break a spell or write a special prayer for curing sickness. The scribes would also write letters of protection from Satan for travelers."--Siah Armajani, 2011

Siah Armajani's earliest works are collages of fabric and paper made while the artist was still a university student and political activist in 1950s Tehran. Drawing on the material culture of southern Tehran's historical bazaar, these works incorporated spells, prayers and talismans purchased from the post-office scribe alongside lines of poetry, political protest, and folk songs snatched from the radio, figures copied from the pages of Persian miniatures, information transcribed from family birth certificates and the wax seals of personal signet rings. This paper considers the relationship of religious and magical practices in Armajani's work to the broader political and social context of southern Tehran, as well as their enduring significance for Iranian artists in the 1960s and 70s.

RSVP here.

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6:30 PM18:30

TALK | NYU Arts & Sciences Presents Sensory Experience within Early Islamic Pilgrimage with Adam Burs

What sights, smells, sounds, and tastes did pilgrims to the Kaʿba, the Dome of the Rock, and other early Islamic sacred spaces experience? Drawing upon literary and material evidence, this paper will attempt to reconstruct some important sensorial—and especially olfactory—components of Islamic pilgrimage of the seventh and eighth centuries CE. Taking account of participants’ physical practices within sacred spaces, I suggest that these sensory experiences played a formative role for Muslims and for the Islamic identities they formed, both during the pilgrimage and afterwards.

Adam Bursi earned his PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University in 2015. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow with the ERC-funded project SENSIS: The Senses of Islam at Utrecht University. His research studies early Islam in dialogue with other late antique religions, focusing on the ways that rituals related to relics, pilgrimage, and healing were tightly interwoven with the formation, self-understanding, and performance of communal membership among early Muslims.

Silsila: Center for Material Histories is an NYU center dedicated to material histories of the Islamicate world. Each semester we hold a thematic series of lectures and workshops, which are open to the public. Details of the Center can be found at: 

RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/yyQBlldfpzfkHkrb2

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6:30 PM18:30

TALK | Votive Bodies: Waz and Beyond in Medieval Mediterranean Devotional Practices

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"Votive Bodies: Wax and Beyond in Medieval Mediterranean Devotional Practices”

Ittai Weinryb, Bard Graduate Center

Part of the Silsila fall 2018 Lecture Series, Matters of Mediation/Bodies of Devotion

The unique characteristics of wax and beeswax made the material a crucial participant in votive practices. By focusing on the material of wax, the lecture will outline the relations between, site, body, material and materiality in order to further exemplify the relations between devotees and divinities, between the here and hereafter in Christian devotion. 

Register here.

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