Wednesday, November 28, 2018

سانسور کلامی و روسری سیاسی در ایران انقلابی _ آوا هما

سانسور کلامی و روسری سیاسی در ایران انقلابی

ناظران
در این مقاله بر شکل خاصی از خشونت تمرکز می‌ شود: خاموش کردن صدای زنان ایرانی در ادبیات. ادبیات فارسی کلاسیک بسیار غنی است، اما مردان انحصار تام خود را در این حوزه برای قرون متمادی حفظ کردند.
تسلط مردان بر ادبیات نه تنها صدای زنان را خاموش کرده بود، بلکه حضور زن در ادبیات را هم سطحی کرده بود. زنان در اشعار کلاسیک فارسی به مو، لب یا چشم زیبا خلاصه می شدند، خالی از پیچیدگی ها و اختیارات انسانی و گاهی شامل بسیاری از صفات منفی.
پیامد این حذف این بود که جامعه به دنیای چند بعدی زنان دسترسی نداشت. غیبت اجباری زن در قلمرو عمومی و ادبی زن را به عنوان جنس دوم تقلیل میداد. وجود زن و افکار و دنیایش رازی بود که ارزش کشف کردن نداشت. کلام و صدایش باید مبهم میماند، مانند یک سایه، یک شبح در کنج خانه.
اما تنها حضور زنان نبود که در ادبیات و شعر حذف می شد، بلکه جسم آنها نیز در اندرونی پنهان شده بود. در حقیقت، زنی که میل به دیدن و دیده شدن داشت "هرجایی" نامیده می شد.
حجابحق نشر عکسFARS
اگر زنان در برابر مردان ظاهر می‌شدند، نیاز به پوشش داشتند. اگر مطلبی می نوشتند باید پنهان می کردند. حضور آنها پشت پرده میماند تا زنان از مردان و مردان از "خود غیر قابل کنترلشان" در امان باشند.
بسیار جالب توجه است که نخستین زنی که خواستار ادغام در جامعه مردسالارانه شد شاعر بابی، طاهره قُرَّةُالعَین بود، زنی که قبل از هویدا کردن سیمایش، کلامش را آزاد کرده بود.
هنگامی که طاهره بدون پوشش مطلوب دوران وارد جمع شد برخی از مردان پریشان شدند. عده‌ای چشمشان را پوشاندند و دیگران گوششان را. برخی مجلس را ترک کردند. بسیاری او را دیوانه و فریبکار نامیدند.
طاهره در سی و شش سالگی پس از چهار سال حبس در شهر تهران به چاهی انداخته شد و زیر آواری از سنگ مدفون شد.
این زن سرکش در دوران جوانی و خلاقیت خود در محلی در باغ سلطنتی نگهداری شد؛ زیرا برای زنان زندانی ساخته نشده بود. شاید بهتر باشد گفت که زنان در سراسر کشور تحت بازداشت خانگی بودند. سوادآموزی به زنان محدود بود و تحصیلات عالی قدغن.
طاهره شاید اولین زنی است که بابت شجاعتش مجازات شد اما آخرینشان نبود. نویسندگان زن ایرانی به جرم کشف حجاب از کلامشان و سیمایشان هزینه های فراوانی دادند.
ویرجینیا وولف گفته است که نویسندگان زن نیاز به اتاق خصوصی و ثبات مالی دارند. زنان ایرانی بدون این دو و با موانع متعدد دیگر نوشته هایشان را نتشرکردند. خلق هنر و ادبیات نیازمند تمرکز و زمان زیاد است که با انتظارات اجتماعی از زنان تطابق نداشت و با این حال بخشی از نویسندگان زن بر این موانع غلبه کردند. بی شک، توانایی ادبی بسیاری از زنان ـــ به ویژه زنان اقلیت های اتنیکی و مذهبی ـــ مغفول مانده است.
حجابحق نشر عکسFARS

روسری سیاسی

برای غربی شدن کشور، حکومت رضا شاه زنانی را که حجاب داشتند مجازات کرد. چند دهه بعد روح الله خمینی حجاب را برای همگان اجباری کرد و کسانی که رعایت نمی کردند مجازات می شدند. امروزه در ایران روسری سیاسی ترین پوشش است. حاکمان اسلامی قدرت سیاسی خود را با تغییر نمادهای بدن زن تعیین می کنند.
به این ترتیب، روسری حامل نشانه های متضادی در دوران های مختلف شد. هم نشانه پیشرفت بود، هم اطاعت، هم طغیان، هم ضد غرب، هم ضد زن. افراد به عنوان نوعی محدودیت یا آزادی و یا دیگر دلایل شخصی یا سیاسی پوشیدن روسری را انتخاب کردند.
اما می توان گفت که گرفتن حق انتخاب پوشش از زنان، چگونه بر آگاهی و آفرینش ادبی آنها تاثیری دیگرگونه گذاشت.
پنهان کردن اجباری زن در خانه و زیر پوشش اجباری می‌تواند روی هویت و اعتماد به نفس زنان اثر منفی بگذارد. نویسندگی، خنثی کردن اثرات منفی غیبت اجباری است. هنگامی که دختران از سن هفت سالگی می بینند که چگونه حجاب زنجیری برای دوران کودکی آنهاست، در حالی که پسران بدون محدودیت ها لباس می پوشند، ممکن است این مفهوم را درونی کنند که چیزی در مورد بدن آنها عمیقا مشکل زا است.
زنان و دخترانی که مجبورند وجود، رفتار و لباسشان در الگوهای پیش تعیین شده باشد، و به آنها گفته می‌شود که آزاد بودن موهایشان خطری برای انحراف مردان است جسم خود را به عنوان منبع وسوسه و فساد می‌پندارند. به این ترتیب مرد انسان کامل و سالمی تلقی می‌شود که مو و بدن زن می‌تواند باعث تباهی‌اش شود. و زن انسانی کامل با حق انتخاب نیست و حتی دارای امیال جنسی نیست. در چنین دیدگاهی، حجاب دیوار مانع ارتباطات انسانی است.
در نقطه مقابل نویسندگی شکلی از کشف حجاب است، چرا که درون زن را هویدا می کند، موانع و دیوارها را برمی‌چیند، بر تفکیک جنسیتی غلبه می‌کند و با انسان‌های دیگر ارتباط برقرار می‌کند. نوشتن ابزاری برای تفکر و اکتشاف است، ابهام و کلیشه را کنار می‌زند، و همه آنچه را که حجاب اجباری انکار کرده‌ زنده می‌کند.
بنابراین، نوشتن توسط زنان، صرف نظر از محتوا و سبک، نوعی شورش بوده است. با این حال، نگاه دقیق تر به تغییرات در کتاب های منتشر شده قبل و بعد از قوانین حجاب اجباری، بر تغییری عمده در آگاهی فمینیستی تاکید می کند.

آثار ادبی زنان قبل و بعد از حجاب اجباری

بخش عمده ای از آنچه نویسندگان زن قبل از انقلاب اسلامی سال ۱۹۷۹ منتشر کرده بودند ادبیات متعهد چپ بود و فاقد آگاهی جنسیتی و فمینیستی. برای مثال زری شخصیت اصلی "سووشون" سیمین دانشور مانند همسرش یوسف، بیشتر نگران قدرت خارجی و رفتار ناعادلانه با دهقانان است تا نابرابری جنسیتی. رمان مفهوم انقلاب را با قلمرو پدر/مرد مرتبط می سازد. حتی زمانی که زری آماده است تا در این جنبش دخالت کند، نقش او از زن سنتی فراتر نمی رود. و یا شخصیت کوکب در داستان "به کی سلام کنم؟" معتقد است مردان زنان را اذیت نمی کنند مگر آنکه زنان وادارشان کنند و دامادش که همسرش را ضرب و شتم می‌کند "نامرد" است.
علاوه بر این، ساختار و زیبایی شناسی در درجه دوم آثار ادبی هستند و محتوای انقلابی و از بین بردن شکاف‌های طبقاتی در اولویت اند.
اما می توان گفت حجاب اجباری زنان در دهه ۸۰ میلادی نه تنها صدای زنان را از بین نبرد بلکه موجب افزایش آگاهی آنان شد.
به این ترتیب خلق آثار ادبی به شیوه رایج و غیر مستقیم به مبارزه با اجبار و غلبه بر تفکیک جنسیتی تبدیل شد و در این میان نه تنها تعداد آثار منتشر شده توسط زنان و درباره زنان افزایش یافت، شکل و محتوای نوشته ها هم کاملا عوض شد. بازی با ساختار و همچنین اعتراض خلاقانه به ستم جنسی جان گرفت.
"زنان بدون مردان" و "طوبی و معنای شب" نوشته شهرنوش پارسی پور نمونه های بسیار خوبی از کتاب های تابو شکن هستند. شخصیت های زن او از جنبش زنان در طول تاریخ سخن می گویند، تبعیض های جنسی را به سخره می گیرند و به طرق مختلف در برابر مردسالاری مقاومت می کنند.
در این سال ها با وجود سانسور سنگین بر ذهن و جسم ایرانی ها بخصوص زنان، کتاب های زیادی در مورد زنان و توسط زنان در ایران منتشر شده و می شود. زنان ایرانی با وجود بهایی که در این چهل سال پرداخت کردند آگاهی فمینیستی ارزشمندی پیدا کرده اند که در نوشته هایشان دیده می شود.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Theatre Review: Glass Menagerie at International City Theatre Reviewed by Ava Homa

Ava Homa, Culture Writer

Deftly directed by John Henry Davis, who has helmed International City Theatre productions of A Walk in the Woods, End of the Rainbow and Trying, Glass Menagerie is a spectacular revival of Tennessee Williams’s exquisitely-lyrical play.
Tom (Ty Mayberry) brims with talent, youth and ambition. One of his co-workers at the warehouse calls him Shakespeare because he hides in the bathroom to write. Others look at him suspiciously. What Tom lacks, however, is the freedom to pursue his fervor. He is the breadwinner for a handicapped and shy sister and an overbearing mother.
Family duties hang heavy on Tom, his small apartment the graveyard of his dreams. To satisfy his cravings for adventure and love, a trapped and depressed Tom finds relief in fantasizing with movie heroes on the screens and with couples dancing and kissing in the Paradise Club at the curve of his street. Should Tom stay loyal to his passion or his mother and sister who need him? What if Tom is Tennessee Williams in disguise in this autobiographical play?
Tom is not the only disappointed member of the wounded Wingfield family who is struggling in modern America. Abandoned by her husband, Amanda (acted masterfully by Jennifer Parsons) is dedicated to her children Tom and Laura, wanting them to be “happy and successful.” She is unaware that her excessive intrusions are pushing her children further away from joy and achievement.
Laura (Lizzie Zerebko), who lacks the looks and the social skill to find either a husband or a job, is a hopeless and sensitive dependent whose only joy in life is playing with her wind-up gramophone and her glass miniature animals, symbolically broken by her brother and her crush.
Ironically, when the power goes off during the night because of unpaid bills, a glimmer of hope appears in the household, shifting the melancholic tone of the play to a romantic one.
Lighting by Stacy McKenney is a major element in this beautiful staging of Tennessee Williams’s breakthrough play, especially when hope glimmers. The large shadow of the couple kissing, the light on the glass animals in a dark room or the silhouette of the mother trimming her daughter’s special skirt make for delightful spectacles.
The cast members are comfortable and confident in their roles, making it impossible to find “the bad guy” in their midst. Even Laura’s high-school crush who reappears and makes her briefly bloom is not despicable.
The set and prompts are charming and effective. A large and lit portrait of the father hangs on the wall, making the pain of his absence an ever-present one. The billboard of Paradise Club, also lit and large, juxtaposes the mood of the desperate family at a dead-end.
Overall, Glass Menagerie is an intriguing and brilliant drama that raises difficult questions about human powerlessness against the harsh realities of poverty and gender oppression.

Glass Menagerie runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm through Sept. 9. Tickets are $47 on Thursdays and Fridays and $49 on Saturdays and Sundays. International City Theatre is located in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center at 330 E. Seaside Wy. For reservations and information, call (562) 436-4610 or go to InternationalCityTheatre.org.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

My interview with VOKRadio


Interviews with Kurdish Writers Series

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May 30, 2018
Exclusive; VOKRadio, Los Angeles

In honor of the Kurdish Women Writers, Voice of Kurdish American Radio for Democracy, Peace, and Freedom, from the U.S, in collaboration with the organization World Women for Life (WWFL), conducted interviews with women identified writers from Kurdish decent. In this series, we learn about the lives and work of these talented writers, as they share with us the inspiration behind their work and contribute their insightful wisdom on working as Kurdish writers in today's world. In these interviews, we learn about the writer's backgrounds, interests, their role models, motivations, the role of mother tongue and relationship to other languages, as well as their take on feminism in their writing, experiences of gender-based discrimination, and misogyny. 

These writers work in diverse fields and span different genres of writing. Some are accomplished authors of novels, while others work in journalism, poetry, and non-fiction.

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Please introduce yourself the way you would like to be introduced to our audience.I am one of the seven billion people on planet earth trying to make sense of the chaos inside and outside of me.

Please introduce your books or any published work that you may have.

My first book "Echoes From The Other Land" was a collection of short stories portraying the lives of women in Iran. It was published by the Mawenzi House in Toronto and was nominated for the 2011 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize.

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 In 2017, I won a PEN scholarship and completed a mentorship program with David Bezmozgis at the Humber School for Writers. At the moment, I am looking for a literary agent or publisher who'd be interested in a novel about Kurds. My 75,000-word novel, DANCE, WHEN YOU'RE BROKEN OPEN is a timely book showing the struggle of the Kurds in Iran and the rest of the Middle East.

My short stories and articles have appeared in numerous periodicals including the BBC, Signal Tribune, Toronto Star, Literary Review of Canada, Toronto Quarterly, Windsor Review, Room, Herizons, and many more.

I have lobbied for inclusion and equity at The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC) for three years and I serve as the Equity Task Force appointee to the Write Magazine.*

ava-homa_book_01.jpgWho are/were your role models in writting? Who motivated you?

 I am a voracious reader and I learn something from everything I read. I don't consciously follow a specific writer and I am not yet fully aware of my unconscious influences.

How has your mother tongue impacted your writing?  

Its lack thereof has affected me. The imposed illiteracy in my mother language, a byproduct of growing up under a dictatorship, means suffering a vacuum, an estrangement from my roots. I taught myself Kurdish in my twenties.

On a positive note, being able to read in Kurdish, Farsi and English have enriched me as a writer. What I admire about multilingualism is the exposure one gets to the variety of concepts. You learn not only words, but also ideas and even worldviews.

How does your Kurdish origin appear in your writing?  

It's been a major component of my writing. My novel explores different ways family members deal with geopolitics: One picks up the pen, one picks up the weapon and one wants to escape.
Gender-based discriminations have concerned me since I was a child and long before I learned the word feminism and read its theories. I was not a girl that could be contained. So, learning about feminism was discovering my community. Today, I feel I stand on the shoulder of giants, women who fought and sacrificed to improve the situation not only for women but also to create a more balanced society that benefits both genders. We still have a long way to go.

echoes-ava.pngHave you faced misogyny, racism from the community you belong to?

I have faced discriminations my entire life, as a woman in a patriarchal culture, as a minority in an ethnocentric society, as an immigrant in the West and as a writer who writes in a language that was not her birthright. Everybody fights a hard battle. So do I.

What are your future plans for your writing? What message do you have for other writers?

I will keep writing because I cannot live without it and I will continue advocating for equity and inclusion in literature and empowering Kurdish women.

I'd tell other writers what I tell myself. If you don't write primarily for your own satisfaction, creativity and growth, the cruel world of publishing can easily crash your spirit (unless you know the right people which is a different story). So write for writing's sake and forget about the noise.
  * (Please consider attending our Diversity Celebration in the Writers’ Summit https://goo.gl/FWbrr6) .

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Theatre review: Flight by Charlayne Woodard



Photo by Michael Hardy
From left: Rayshawn Chism (NATE), Felicia Baxter-Simien (MERCY), Ebonie Marie (ALMA) and David P. Lewis (EZRA) in Long Beach Playhouse’s Flight
The captivating play Flight takes place on a plantation outside Georgia in 1858. Five-year-old Jim is separated from his mother when she is sold to a different family. She is being punished for reading to her son, defying the law that wanted the slaves to remain illiterate. Not knowing how else to cope with the trauma, the boy climbs a tree out in the woods and hides between the branches. How can the disempowered community help the stubborn boy who refuses to climb down the tree and help his devastated father who is ready to shed blood in revenge?
The healer Oh Beah, played by the talented Latonya Kitchen, uses the magical power of stories to transform and entertain the family and the rest of the community. The slaves are more than just victims. Their spines are bent under the boots of oppression, but human connections and art help the community to practice resilience. The law has broken up families and has banned reading and writing, but it can never take away the stories from them.
This form of resistance is not unique to slaves. In fact, before Prozac, communal storytelling was a major cure for depression. Like blacks, we stateless Kurds– whose land is divided between Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq– have relied on oral storytelling, music and dance to survive and resist tyranny. Archetypal stories that pass from one generation to the next illuminate conflict so true to humankind that they transcend time and space.
The story-within-a-story Flight, written by Charlayne Woodard, combines slave narratives and African and African-American folktales. The anecdotes, like life itself, include horror and beauty. They help the shocked father and son, as well as the rest of the community members who have suffered from similar events, to understand that life on this planet the way we know it contains both light and dark, pain and joy.
Sets and props are simple and subtle in this no-intermission 90-minute play.
Directed by Rovin Jay at Long Beach Playhouse, Flight does not rely solely on storytelling, mythology and good acting to attract the audience. The production applies dance, fog and haze, pulsing light effects, live drumming and singing to make Flight an experience that shakes up something inside the viewers.
Flight continues at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., through June 16, with shows Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $14- $24. For tickets and information, call the box office at (562) 494-1014 or visit lbplayhouse.org.

The article originally appeared in the Signal Tribune.

Friday, May 4, 2018

My Review of California Repertory’s End Days


Photo by Keith Ian Polakoff
From left: Tara Coffey (Rachel) Jennifer Richardson (Sylvia) and Chris Bange (Arthur) in CSULB Theatre Art’s End Day
Deftly directed by Beth Lopes, California Repertory’s End Days is an intriguing and humorous dark comedy-drama that raises difficult questions about the ability– or lack thereof– to love someone whose ideology contradicts yours. Continuing through May 12, End Days sheds light on some of the challenges of living in a universe too complicated for the human mind to decipher.
Lifetime atheist Sylvia Stein’s (Jennifer Richardson) coping mechanism with post-9/11 chaos and terror is converting to Evangelism. Her husband Arthur (Chris Bange), who used to work at the Twin Towers and lost over 60 colleagues, is too exhausted from insomnia to eat or shower. Sixteen-year-old daughter Rachel (Tara Coffey) is a goth who hates that her mother has “shut off part of her brain.”
A quiet, black-haired Jesus (Charles Denton) is the companion and spring of joy for Sylvia, who is busy doing good in the world, knocking on doors advertising her religion and feeding the poor. The only barrier to her thorough happiness is that her family seems unsavable by Christ.
Elvis appears with his guitar. Long-winded and accidentally funny adolescent neighbor Nelson (Matt Avery), in the cultural icon’s costume, charms the conflicting characters and gradually becomes a catalyst for their communication. Neglected by his stepparents, Nelson is motivated by his love for Rachel, but she calls him a “God-whore” for embracing Judaism, Christianity and science at the same time.
Rachel, who accuses her mother of being delusional about allowing Jesus in her heart, has her own fantasy of meeting the renowned physicist Steven Hawking (ironically also played by Denton/Jesus). What the women have in common is that they lose sight of what’s before them in their quest for understanding what’s bigger than they are.
Now the Apocalypse is approaching. The four traumatized characters with conflicting world views have to spend long hours together in preparation. Who is going to save them, Hawking or Jesus? Which matters most: the small moments of sharing a meal with family or the philosophical debates around existential dilemmas?
The set and prompts are astoundingly simple. A handful of chairs and tables, a magnet-covered fridge, a guitar and a couple of lamps create the school and home setting. The cast members are comfortable and confident in their roles, facilitating the “willing suspension of disbelief.”
The play by Deborah Zoe Laufer examines how arch enemies science and religion have more in common than some would like to admit. They both fail to quench human thirst for knowledge.
Article originally published in Signal Tribune