Cold trenches

01/22/2012

At this very moment I am staying at a timbered cabin in Nannestad together with Amir Masood Mirzai. Our mission: To kick start the process of creating the performance Tales of War. We’ve had two very interesting days here and more and more details have appeared from the mists of time about Amir’s life as a communication officer in Iran. He’s told me several tales in the years we’ve known eachother, but several new aspects have been rediscovered by us during our weekend here in the relative wilds. We’re already at the point where we have ten times more material than we can possibly cram together in a 90 minute long performance, but in any case – here are some tasters:

 

  • Amir’s great grandfather fell in love with the daughter of the shah, eloped with her to the mountains, and lived with her for six months before he was found by the forces of the shah. To punish him, they tied him in front of a cannon. The only thing left was his little finger. Apparently the liver was also left, because the shah took the liver in his hand and said: “He was a tough one”. Editorial comment: In Persian tradition, the weight of your liver has a direct correlation to your inherent toughness.
  • Khomeini’s exile before the revolution was a result of quick priestly manuevering. Khomeini had made himself a target by publicly criticizing women’s rights. The shah, summarily, wanted to execute him. However, in the laws of Iran there is a paragraph saying that an ayatollah (the highest rank of priesthood) can not be arrested nor executed. To save Khomeini, who was not an ayatollah at this time, two other ayatollahs signed the necessary papers to advance him to ayatollah-hood. Leaving the shah with no other option than to exile him.
  • When a tanks explodes, it opens like a rose.

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