Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Seh Shambeh (Tuesday): at the Bazaar
An image from Wikileaks, advertising the demonstration
Woke up to read the news - or what i could see of it. Yesterday's demonstrations were on the front page of the New York Times, and featured on Al Jazeera. Then the internet slowed down to a standstill, and I could read no more. I hear in the lobby that the Estonians were released yesterday, but that their cameras and passports are still being held.
I heard a little more about the demonstration, too - about tear gas, and beatings and chases through the streets. About some Iranians who might open their doors to shelter protesters, and others who might fasten a hand on them to take them to the police. But there is no overall perspective gained from being here.
Today is calm though, and Tehran seems to be back to normal. I met with Nasim, and a company of Greek theatre artists, and we all went together to the Tehran Bazaar. This is the largest bazaar in Iran, and it is fascinating - a rabbit warren of passageways, streets and alleys, full of shops that sell everything - from samovars to bras, from plastic dolls to handmade carpets.
The Greek company told me of how they had to modify their play to perform here. They did a version upon arrival for a panel of judges, who then suggested further modifications. The show was devised physical theatre, but the women shouldn't dance in a physical or sensual way, and shouldn't sing by themselves. Many changes had to be made. I did discover, however, that the show's director, Olga Pozeli, and I went to the same college at the University of London, one year apart - and had most of the same teachers. We even lived in the same housing complex, Penrose Court. An amazing coincidence in Tehran. David Jansen - are you reading this?! (David went to the same college, and he and I had this same coincidental discovery many years ago…).
The Tehran Bazaar (South Tehran)
Chadors versus Baby Dolls
The cats of the bazaar
Tehran Bazaar: Teacups
A mosque in the bazaar
Outside the mosque - poster of supreme leader Ali Khamenei
Fabric stall in the bazaar