Shirin Neshat on “From Photography to Cinema”
March 19th 2013, University of California, Berkeley
In this entry, we review once more one of the most #PersonallyInspiring figures we have covered here at Integrating Horizons: the Iranian born artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat. In the following video of the 2013 Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, Regent’s Lecturer Series, Shirin reflects on her own “untraditional” professional journey and how it has contradicted the many structured approaches she had received at U.C. Berkeley. In her lecture, she underscored the importance of her time away from being an artist, her experiences at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York and reflected on the nature and the development of her professional career has taken since 1993.
In her introductory autobiographical remarks, she asks why she had not flourished earlier in her professional development at U.C. Berkeley. Recognizing the intellectual and mental immaturity that prohibited her from producing “important work and contributions”, she emphasized however the antagonism and personal difficulties that affected her as Iranian born student in the United States during the late-1960s and 1970s with the 1979 Islamic revolution, the Iraq war and then the American hostages in Iran. The antagonism made it difficult for her as a young Iranian to feel part of the Berkeley community and a full participant in the educational process. Losing contact with family and the ability to travel back when one is financially and morally dependent created a “feeling of abandonment”.