Trans(re)lating House One By Poupeh Missaghi


Disappearing statues, missing protestors, inexplicable deaths—how does a writer account for Tehran’s shifting vanishing points?

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In the aftermath of Iran’s 2009 election, a woman undertakes a search for the statues disappearing from Tehran’s public spaces. A chance meeting alters her trajectory, and the space between fiction and reality narrows. As she circles the city’s points of connection—teahouses, buses, galleries, hookah bars—her many questions are distilled into one: How do we translate loss into language?

Melding several worlds, perspectives, and narrative styles, trans(re)lating house one translates the various realities of Tehran and its inhabitants into the realm of art, helping us remember them anew.

Trans(re)lating House One is a hybrid work that incorporates documentary methods, reportage, and critical theory, reinventing what the way we look at storytelling and what it can do. Poupeh uses a language and style that attempts to capture the rhythms of the city of Tehran and pushes the limits of the English language with her native Persian, asking us to consider the meanings behind and beyond linguistic choices in documentary narratives in new and exciting way.

The questions Poupeh raises about the significance and role of witnesses to history, the materiality of our bodies and the urgency of literature are questions that are of vital importance to artists and their audiences today, and will resonate with anyone invested in the role art has to play in capturing the stories around us.

Trans(re)lating House One By Poupeh Missaghi