Like mother, like daughter
By J. Javid
On my way to Tehran from New York, I made a to-do list. High on my mind was an interview with Gizella Varga Sinai, one of Iran's celebrated painters.
I say "Iran's" because after nearly three decades of working and raising a family in Tehran, she has become Iranian in spirit, even though she is Hungarian by blood.
I wanted to ask her about her feelings when as a young woman she left Budapest for Vienna in the early 60s. Then I was going to compare Gizella with her daughter, Samira, who for the past year has been in Budapest.
In her basement art studio, Gizella spoke, in Persian, about her confusing, yet liberating period in Vienna as if she had now found the answers to life's mysteries. The search for the Truth is more or less over. Or at least, it does not preoccupy her.
For Samira, the search has only just begun.
When I asked her to sit down and write about her experience, Samira took a couple of hours to think, write and rewrite what basically turned out to be a reassuring statement to herself that seemed to say, "I'm okay and I'm going to make it."
Thirty years from now, I'll remember to interview them again. Click below to read their story:
By Samira Sinai By Gizella Varga Sinai
Photographs and translation
by J. Javid
* THE IRANIAN Arts sections