Curated by L.A.-based rap artist Malkovich Music, Before The Chador premiered March 26 at R&R Gallery in Los Angeles, and is now courting galleries worldwide. Visit www.beforethechador.com for more information.
My good old days are the days my family would sit and tell me about theirs, in Iran before the revolution. I was a kid, but we were all young. They would laugh and cry and show me old photos while Cesaria Evora cassettes played. “Saudade” is her biggest hit and a Portuguese word. It means ‘to miss something that doesn’t exist’. Maybe home is overrated. Maybe identity is a burden. Maybe this is for the best; Iran, a shadow of itself, and us, scattered like worker bees, boiling limes and spreading love and money across the continents. Maybe the world needs us more than we need home. The Shah tortured and killed us just like Khomeini, just like anyone. Continents away we let religion separate us, just like we always have. Maybe my family’s good old days never existed. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. But I wish I was. Just to know how belonging feels. Perhaps I’m imagining a feeling only people in stories get. Maybe belonging isn’t that easy. But when I look at these old photos of my family in Iran, I get a feeling I assume is close to how home feels; maybe the feeling of home only people in stories feel, but who knows, maybe sometimes in real life too.