Monday, December 07, 2009

CKLARA & SORAYA'S PERFORMANCE PIECE-dedicated to Campaign for One million Signature in Iran


OR for a lighter more up close view click:


Soraya: Dedicated to the Women of Campaign for One Million Signature against Discriminatory Laws in Iran, and the women of MY generation who are in prison
Cklara: And My generation who are in prison with them

Cklara and Soraya (together): for their courage!

Cklara: The title of this piece is: "Sculpting the Edifice, Cracking the Walls"

Soraya and Cklara: counting to 30 out loud

Cklara: 30 years!

Cklara and Soraya (together loudly): June 2009!

Cklara: We stood there,

us women, young girls- too young to have cast a ballot,

but not afraid of a bullet,

us women, mothers, sisters, and daughters,

with our hearts out and our arms bare,

we bear no arms,

instead we put up our arms to create signs,

our fingers in peace signs, and our bodies symbols of victories not known to us.

We stood there us women, in waves,

equal to the men by our side

We Stood there,

Us women, with our children

ladies with wrinkles of old age,

girls with rebellion of youth,

holding roses in the front lines,

in every protest, riot, ambush and crack down

We did not pick a fight

holding picket signs and slogans became a crime

Us women, us women, us women…

Our cause breaks the dividing lines,

Soraya: us women, we are Iranians

Cklara: we are Baluch

Soraya: we are Persian

Cklara: we are Kurds

Soraya: we are Azeri

Cklara: we are Turkemen

Soraya: We are Lor

Cklara: We are Arab

Soraya: Us women,
we stood in the front lines and shouted
“!نترس Natars!” “Do not be afraid.”
We are not afraid of sticks and grim faces of oppression. We were born from mothers who did not have the right to look our fathers in the eyes. We live with men who think it is their birth right to own us. We resisted marriages at 15 and ran away to become unemployed professionals.
We do not have the right to live with the child we gave birth to, if we no longer can love an abusive husband.
We are not afraid!
Us women, we have seen much worse at home.

Cklara: “Shazde koochoolo ba sedaye Ahmad e Shamloo”
The Little Prince!
I probably first learned about death from the translation of The Little Prince, spoken on a tape in Farsi by the voice of Ahmad Shamloo.
The Little Prince wants to return to his home planet but he can’t take his body with him because it is too heavy so the author says: “He fell gently, the way a tree falls. There wasn’t even a sound…”
If Little Prince had to let go of his body to find his freedom, to find his way back home, then we were all meant to go one day.
I must have been 6 years old at the time.
I was not afraid anymore;
not when they came kicking at our door,
not when I watched my parents as they
began chewing papers with writings I could not read,
not when big ugly strange looking men who smelled like sewers and smoke broke our windows in the middle of the night,
trashed our house, and took my father away,
not when I was left alone in the basement that was our house,
with no electricity or water for days,
not when my father did not return.
I knew that even if my parent’s body becomes too heavy one day, just like the little prince, they will find their way back home and I can look up at them and I would see “five-hundred million little bells.”

Soraya: She had just started kicking in my stomach when I started singing for her and teaching her poems.
No, I didn’t want her to become an artist but this LIFE, this CHILD in my belly has to be born strong or she could not last long!
I remember last time (pause, take a deep breath, exhale)
they beat every fiber in my body until I bled so much that the fetus growing in me decided the darkness of the womb is better than the darkness outside.
You see, us women, we sing and read to our children so that they will believe that life is beautiful.

***Begin reading Siawash Kasrayi (Poem Arash Kamangir)
آری، آری زندگی زیباست
گفته بودم زندگی زیباست
گفته و نا گفته ای بس نکته ها کین جاست
آسمان باز ، آفتاب زر
باغ های گل ، دشت های بی دروپیکر
سر برون آوردن گل از درون برف
تاب نرم رقص ماهی در بلور آب
خواب گندم زار در ، چشمه مهتاب
بوی عطر خاک باران خورده در کهسار
آمدن ، رفتن ، دویدن ، عشق ورزیدن
در غم انسان نشستن
پا به پای شادمانی های مردم پای کوبیدن
آری آری زندگی زیباست
زندگی آتشگهی دیرینه پابرجاست
گر بیفروزیش رقص شعله اش در هر کران پیداست
ورنه خاموش است و خاموشی گناه ماست
زندگانی شعله می خواهد ، شعله ها را هیمه سوزنده
جنگلی هستی تو ای انسان سربلند و سبز باش ای جنگل انسان
سربلند و سبز باش ای جنگل انسان

Cklara: And that poem taught me that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!

Us women, we stand barefoot at times,

Us women of this generation, carry the onus of the past

But we want to build a new life,

we want to unveil the black torture halls

and cast away the unfounded shari’a laws

us women of this generation don’t want to be bound

by childbearing and drug wars

at times us women, of this generation

we yearn for the safety of the womb, before the madness of consciousness!

Soraya (SINGS Kurdish song):

له ژیر زنجیری ئه ی ئه مان ده بابه ی دوژمن
سه ری هه زاران ئه ی ئه مان لاوی وه کو من 2
تیک و پیک نه شکیت نه پلیشیته وه
له گولاوی خوین ئه ی ئه مان لاو نه تلیته وه2
دایک را نه کات بو چول وچیا
هه ی داد هه ی بیداد ئه ی ئه مان کورپه که م جی ما2
کچی چوارده سال بو زیندان ئه بریت
پرچه جوانه که ی ئه ی ئه مان ده سکه نه ئه کریت
تیا ده ر نه کریت سوپای بیگانه
رزگاری نایت ئه ی ئه مان ئه م نیشتمانه2

Cklara Moradian and Soraya Fallah will be performing a reading of an original short One Act Two Women Play. This piece is an original collaboration by both women and has been written by Cklara and Soraya unless otherwise noted.
The Concept of this piece is Iranian women and trans-generational activism. It delves into the most recent movement in Iran but also looks at how the spirit of courage has been shaped. Cklara and Soraya tell a universal story of heroism through personal narrative.
"Sculpting the Edifice; Cracking the Walls" AT THE SANTA ANA Grand Central Art Center

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Performance by Soraya Fallah & Cklara Moradian @ The Grand Central Art Center

Performance by Soraya Fallah & Cklara Moradian @ The Grand Central Art Center from Dharma Bum on Vimeo.

Breif Bio of the performers:

Cklara Moradian was born in the Kurdish province of Iran in 1987. Her parents are survivors of the Islamic Republic of Iran's 1980's massacre of political prisoners. Conceived and raised by incredible human rights activists and artists, she was introduced to activism and resistance at a very young age. Though her environment was brutal, she was protected by her family’s love and the richness of her Kurdish/Iranian culture. Her parent’s prison memoirs, revolutionary childhood, and the stories of the countless prisoner’s of conscious who were much like her “aunts” and “uncles” were her bedtime stories. Cklara and her family fled Iran and sought asylum from UNHCR in the former soviet satellite regions. The years between nine and thirteen can neither be summarized nor ignored. The stories of these years are the realities of thousands of other displaced refugees around the world. Though these years are full of madness and at times unbelievable tales of human atrocity, Cklara also remembers new languages, a world of experience, and touching human connections. Cklara has lived in California since the age of thirteen and has done her best to grow from a teenager into an adult woman. These years have been years of healing, reconciliation and of solidifying her much battered identity. She has also used this time to formulate her vision for a better world. She is currently studying Philosophy and is passionatly involved in human rights activism. She is active for minority rights, women and youth rights, and LGBTQQ rights in the US. She remains deeply involved in Iranian politics. She has won numerous awards for her writings and is invited to perform her work at events/conferences. She takes her membership with Amnesty International very seriously and collaborates closely with other NGOs to bring awareness towards progressive movements. She uses spoken word, poetry and art to break through to her generations’ epidemic of apathy and cynicism.

Soraya Fallah is an Iranian born Human Rights activist since her teenage years. She is one of the survivors of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 1980’s mass execution of political prisoners. Since her flight from Iran in 1996, she has continued her activism in exile in Europe and the United States. She is the president and co-founder of World’s Women For life, an innovative organization aiming to teach and celebrate the beauty of life in the face of the culture of death. Soraya is co-founder, coordinator, and board member of Society for Human Rights in Iran, Southern California and a member of Amnesty international. She is an active member of “Campaign for One Million Signature, Change for Equality.” She has her M.A. in International Law and Relations and has given numerous lectures on the issues of women and minorities in Iran. Currently she works extensively with local and International NGOs to promote women and minority rights in the USA and throughout the world especially in Iran and Middle East. Soraya has always been an artist at heart. Though situational obstacles have not allowed her to pursue her many artistic talents professionally, she has continued promoting art as a form of activism. As a young woman in Iran she performed in revolutionary plays and wrote creative poems and essays promoting progressive women’s movements. She used her talents to imprint pictures of activists who were executed or martyred by drawing their portraits before photography became widely used in her town. She raised her voice and sang folklores and traditional Kurdish songs to pass down her heritage to the younger generation as a means of resistance towards the silent ethnocide of her culture. When buying and selling of traditional clothing became outlawed, she set out to design her own dresses at home. She has since designed traditional clothing and has even found ways to innovatively unite western styles with more eastern designs. She has always been a promoter and supporter of artists and has collaborated with filmmakers and photographers internationally who have been interested in her heritage or human rights causes. As a mother, she believes that her greatest art work is perhaps her children, in whom she has woven a passion for creation much more vigorous than her own. Her daughter attributes her writing abilities to her mother. One of her latest art projects was participation in an International Art conference at Cal Arts “Art in One World” with the theme of Motherhood and Revolution.