News ID: 175289
Published: 0746 GMT January 07, 2017

Iran calligraphic animation explores self worth

Iran calligraphic animation explores self worth

Enchanting birds with lively characteristics, Persian calligraphic art, sweeping angles and entrenched symbolism will engross the viewer in the animation 'Simorgh'.

However, not to be mistaken for light entertainment, the chorographical piece 'Simorgh' is Iranian-born Meqdad Asadi-Lari's personal interpretation of a traditional Sufi poem, reported.

'The Conference of the Birds' by Persian poet Farideddin Attar Neishabouri, known as Attar, is a lengthy and celebrated poem written in Persian and explores the fragility of self worth. It follows the symbolic journey of different birds under the guidance of the wisest bird, the hoopoe, in search of a king, who end up discovering their strength within.

Each bird represents a human fault, such as ego, greed, beauty and power. The birds must cross seven valleys to reach the abode of the legendary Simorgh bird, who they hope will be their leader. Each valley represents the stations that an individual must pass through to realize the true nature of God, according to Sufi, such as yearning, love and detachment.

One by one however, each of the birds offers an excuse and drops out of the journey.

At the end of the journey only 30 birds reach the abode of the legendary Simorgh. However, all they find there is each other through their reflection in a lake. As the birds realize the strength within their own community, they have reached the last station: Subsistence — or the action of supporting oneself.

Asadi-Lari's animated adaptation includes the peacock, which symbolizes the fallen soul in alliance with Satan, the nightingale symbolizing the lover, and the parrot seeking the fountain of immortality, not God.

The artist's chorographical piece — and graduate school thesis film — incorporates calligraphic art and ornamental design to tell the traditional Persian story, to the backdrop of Persian music composed by Saba Alizadeh. Each bird has been formed in the shape of Persian letters.

As the animated story is based on literature, the artist dedicated all the visuals – the birds and their environment — to Iranian culture, art and history.

Built upon Islamic belief and practice by Muslims, Simorgh provokes thought beyond the material world and explores a yearning to seek the truth of divine love.

It's been widely recognized at the international level, winning several international film and animation awards and playing at 60 film festivals including the Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco, Plum Tuckered Film Festival and the International Gold Panda Awards for Students.

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