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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! Series

Rejoicing Life in Malady: Forough Farroukhzad's Documentary of the Lepers of Bababaghi

Thursday 25 February 2021
What's New?! Spring Lecture Series 2021
This is an online event. Please register to receive the link to the lecture.
Still from the documentary The House is Black by Forough Farroukhzad

Susan Sontag says “Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship.” In this review, Delaram Hosseinioun analyses the documentary The House Is Black (1962) by Forough Farroukhzad (1934-1967), the sole Persian feminist poet who wrote as a woman for the sake of women and throughout her life confronted dogma and taboos. In her first and only work as a director, without a pre-written plan or plot, for two weeks Forough lives alongside the lepers of Bababaghi, not to display their agony but to rejoice life. Breaking the norms of narration, Forough renders a unique image to the abhorred outcasts. Capturing the daily life of the colony of lepers in the Northwest of Iran, the poet recites her thoughts not to romanticise but to capture their deformed laughter, to highlight their reality and the cruelty everyone preferred to avoid. Instead of victimization Forough defies the cliches over malady and beauty, acceptance and trauma and demands her spectators to reflect upon their daily approach towards trivial matters. The House is Black is the manifestation of the artist's sheer genius, converting malfortune to a philosophical appreciation of life and inner harmony. 

About Delaram Hosseinioun

Delaram Hosseinioun received her first MA in Literary Criticism from the University of Exeter and her second MA in Cultural Studies from KU Leuven University. In her PhD project, she surveys how the Dialogic Narratives frame the sociological infrastructures for women. Her research revolves around post-structuralist French psychoanalysis and Russian literary criticism implied in the feminist conceptual art of the Middle East, namely the revelation of the female identity as the neglected Other.

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