1 July, 2023

The Banqueting Hall, City Hall, Centenary Square, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD1 1HY

The recent protests in Iran have attracted global attention but they aren’t just about the hijab and the right to choose. In this thought-provoking panel discussion, our speakers will explain why the wave of protests in Iran are also a result of the broader desire for democracy, civil liberties, and freedom for minority groups such as the Baloch, Sunnis, and Kurds.

The protests have brought together different movements, such as trade unions and labour groups. These demonstrations are a reflection of the growing desire for change among the Iranian people, particularly women, who are pushing for greater autonomy and freedom of choice.

Join writer, director and actor Javaad Alipoor, Afshin Shahi, Associate Professor in Middle East Politics and International Relations at Keele University, author and medical anthropologist Orkideh Behrouzan, sound artist Fari Bradley, and author Malu Halasa, editor of the forthcoming anthology Woman Life Freedom, as they reflect on the impact of the protests, where they are going and what the future holds for Iran at this critical moment in its history.

About the speakers:


Javaad Alipoor is a British-Iranian, Manchester-based and Bradford-built artist, writer and founding Artistic Director of The Javaad Alipoor Company. The Company takes stories beyond the stage through powerful multi-platform creations that explore the intersection of politics and technology in the contemporary world.


Orkideh Behrouzan is a physician and medical anthropologist based in London. A bilingual author and poet in Persian and English, she is the author of Prozak Diaries: Psychiatry and Generational Memory in Iran (2016, Stanford University Press). Her ethnographically informed creative writing has been published in journals including Consequence and Frontiers and adapted to the theatre stage in the UK. She teaches at SOAS University of London.


Malu Halasa is a Jordanian Filipina American writer and editor based in London. She is the editor of seven anthologies on Middle Eastern art and culture, including two on Iran: Transit Tehran: Young Iran and Its Inspirations and Kaveh Golestan: Recording the Truth in Iran, with Hengameh Golestan. Halasa has written for The Guardian, Financial Times and Times Literary Supplement. She was previously an editor at the Prince Claus Fund in Amsterdam, Editor-at-Large for Portal 9 in Beirut, Lebanon, and a founding editor of Tank Magazine in London. She is currently Literary Editor for Middle Eastern arts magazine, the Markaz Review.


Fari Bradley (b. Iran) is an artist engaging with listening, language and the environment. Bradley’s practice spans the mediums of performance, broadcast, installation and sculpture. Core methodologies involve experimentalism, deep listening and exercises in modes of communication and reception, while her live performances stage interplays between architecture, public space and history. Bradley’s work is heavily research-based and she is currently a PhD researcher at University of the Arts London. Bradley is published by Oxford University Press and has written on sound, music and society for The Wire Magazine, Ibraaz and more.

About the chair:


Dr Afshin Shahi is an associate professor (senior lecturer) in Middle East politics and international relations at Keele University. Prior to joining the School of Social, Political, and Global Studies in 2023, he worked at the universities of Durham, Exeter, and Bradford. In 2018 he was a visiting research fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. His research interests encompass Iranian politics, climate change and conflict, sectarianism, and political Islam in the Middle East. His articles have appeared in scholarly outlets including the Middle East Journal, the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, and the Journal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He is the author of the Politics of Truth Management in Saudi Arabia and the co-author of a forthcoming book, Iran: the Shia State and the Sunni Minority. For about four years he was an associate editor of the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. He is a regular contributor to national and global media outlets including the BBC and Aljazeera. In 2017, he was a recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement at the University of Bradford.

Event Time: 14:45 – 16:15 BST

Price: £7.00 Concession tickets can be booked by paying a £1 refundable deposit. Visit the event page.
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