“This Persian Garden Project will be providing visitors with a private, yet public environment in which to engage important social and cultural issues by gathering and gardening through conversations, screenings, readings, and communal performances. I’m imagining it as a hub for activism and healing—a home for all marginalized, mediated, untold, and less celebrated stories.” Bahar Behbahani, 2021
The art of Brooklyn-based artist Bahar Behbahani responds to the history and character of the complex landscapes that surround her—reflecting on her cultural origins and immigrant experience. Conversations with the artist across time reveal how she has immersed herself in the form, poetry, and politics of the Persian garden. Now, her vision extends to designing and programming a public environment for activism and healing where she aims to engender a communal sense of hospitality, resistance, and resilience. When Behbahani reaches her goal, a new Persian garden will flourish in Manhattan—cultivated by the hands and minds of artists and historians, thinkers and doers from cultures around the world that call New York City home.
Sound Design: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Bahar Behbahani, Suspended (2007) and All Water Has a Perfect Memory (2019), courtesy the artist
Related Episodes: The Awakening, Bahar Behbahani on Politics and Persian Gardens
Related Links: Bahar Behbahani, Ispahan Flowers Only Once (2019-ongoing), All Water Has a Perfect Memory/Wave Hill Public Garden, 9/11 Memorial