Shahre-Farang (Another Birth Remix)

Shahre-Farang (Another Birth Remix)

Shahre-Farang (Another Birth Remix) was a Stellar Quines commissioned artwork created by British Iranian artist Mina Heydari-Waite in response to the play Sister Radio by Sara Shaarawi.

The artwork was a sculpture and sound piece that featured fragments of conversations, ideas and poems by people from the Iranian diaspora living in Scotland, recorded during workshops with community group Iranian Scottish. Their voices in Farsi and English explored personal and political histories in relation to the play’s themes of memory, rebellion and loss.

The Shahre-Farang (Another Birth Remix) sculpture toured with the show so that audiences at each tour venue could experience it. We wanted the voices of people who have moved to the UK to be part of the conversation happening around Sister Radio and for those voices to be there in the theatres alongside the show. Audience members could also submit their own written responses in a prompt box next to the installation.

Mina’s sculpture took its name from the ‘shahre-farang’ tradition of storytelling using a travelling peepshow box. ‘Shahre-farang’ boxes were popular in Iran during the 19th and 20th century and told tales from far off places.

In our sculpture there was no peephole. Instead the stories are told through voices mingling with the sound of distant echoes of a warped taar string, the popping of esphand, Tehran’s city streets in the rain, the busy Raasht bazar and the inside of a shrine in Mashhad.

Following the tour, Iranian American writer Marjorie Lofti created a poem called Sister inspired by the installation and the responses from audience members. Listen to it on our SoundCloud or read it on our website.

If you missed the Sister Radio tour then you can listen to the Shahre-Farang (Another Birth Remix) soundscape on our SoundCloud.

Find out more about the show and tour on our Sister Radio page.

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