French artist cou­ple charmed by Ira­nian hos­pi­tal­ity

Iran Daily - - Art & Culture -

The am­bas­sador listed the agro crops ex­ported from Bangladesh as tea, dif­fer­ent kinds of veg­eta­bles and fruits, pro­cessed fruits and fruits juice.

On his coun­try’s food­stuff im­ports from Iran, he said Bangladesh pur­chases dried fruit and date from the Mid­dle Eastern state.

Bangladeshi cui­sine has been shaped by the di­verse his­tory and river­ine ge­og­ra­phy of Bangladesh. The coun­try’s cli­mate is trop­i­cal mon­soon.

Rice and fish are the sta­ple food of the Bangladeshis. Be­sides fish, an ev­ery­day meal con­sists of plain rice, served with a wide range of cur­ries, leafy greens, lentils, and mashed, braised and/or deep­fried veg­eta­bles as side dishes. Bangladeshi dishes ex­hibit strong aro­matic French pho­tog­ra­pher Alain Cec­ca­roli and his wife, who vis­ited Iran to hold a photography ex­hi­bi­tion, said they were charmed by Ira­nian cul­ture and hos­pi­tal­ity.

Cec­ca­roli said that he plans to re­turn to Iran in the com­ing months and en­joy its spe­cial at­trac­tions.

A col­lec­tion of 20 black-and-white pho­to­graphs fea­tur­ing moun­tain land­scapes was on view at the ex­hi­bi­tion ti­tled ‘En­tre er­rance et eter­nite’ (‘Be­tween Wan­der­ing and Eter­nity’). The ex­hi­bi­tion ran un­til Novem­ber 30. IRNA con­ducted an in­ter­view with Cec­ca­roli to get his opin­ion about Iran and Ira­nian cul­ture.

Alain Cec­ca­roli was born in 1945 in Morocco. He lives in France.

After hold­ing sev­eral jobs, he de­cided in 1981 to be­come a pro­fes­sional au­thor pho­tog­ra­pher. Though he was self-taught, his meet­ing in 1982 with Claudine and Jean-pierre Su­dre was de­ci­sive. He de­votes him­self to his three pas­sions: Ar­chi­tec­ture, land­scape and the Mediter­ranean. His pho­to­graphic ca­reer took off and mul­ti­ple com­mis­sions and pho­to­graphic projects started com­ing in.

He held sev­eral ex­hi­bi­tions in coun­tries such as Switzer­land, Bel­gium, Croa­tia, Syria and Greece.

Ex­cerpts of the in­ter­view fol­low: fla­vors and of­ten in­clude eggs, pota­toes, toma­toes and aubergines.

A va­ri­ety of spices and herbs, along with mus­tard oil and ghee, is used in Bangladeshi cook­ing. A flat, stone mor­tar and pes­tle, known as ‘shil pata’ are used to grind spices into a paste.

The paint­ings and hand­i­crafts expo, a two-day event, was at­tended by a num­ber of Bangladesh na­tion­als and stu­dents in Iran, jour­nal­ists, Ira­nian na­tion­als as well as staff mem­bers of the Em­bassy of Bangladesh in the Ira­nian cap­i­tal and their fam­i­lies. Paint­ings by a num­ber of fa­mous artists from Bangladesh were dis­played at the expo. The ex­hi­bi­tion also fea­tured hand­i­crafts in­clud­ing those made of metal as well as pieces of brass or­na­men­tal work, wood­work and other

IRNA: How did you se­lect the pho­to­graphs for the ex­hi­bi­tion in Tehran? ALAIN CEC­CA­ROLI:

I was invited by the French Em­bassy in Iran to hold an ex­hi­bi­tion. The em­bassy sug­gested some themes for the pho­tos and since I knew that the Ira­ni­ans are highly in­ter­ested in na­ture, I chose a col­lec­tion of my pho­to­graphs about moun­tains and trees.

I am in­ter­ested in the vis­i­ble and in­vis­i­ble traces of his­tory on the land­scape.

I se­lected a col­lec­tion of 20 works from my visit to the Swiss Alps in 1985 and 1989.

I did not want to in­crease the num­ber of dis­played pho­tos with­out pay­ing at­ten­tion to the theme of the works. ar­ti­san­ship.

The ex­hi­bi­tion was vis­ited by a good num­ber of Ira­ni­ans. It was in­au­gu­rated by Bhuiyan.

In an ad­dress at the open­ing cer­e­mony, he said Bangladesh has a long his­tory of crafts­man­ship.

“The fine and mag­nif­i­cent ‘Muslin’ that Bangladesh pro­duced was a world fa­mous dress worn by mem­bers of royal fam­i­lies all around the world for cen­turies. Jam­dani Sa­ree is also glob­ally fa­mous and pop­u­lar.”

He said the ex­hi­bi­tion was part of a wider pro­gram to pro­vide Ira­ni­ans with the op­por­tu­nity to gain fur­ther knowl­edge about Bangladesh, adding that the em­bassy will con­tinue to or­ga­nize this type of ex­hi­bi­tion on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

Do you have a plan to hold an­other ex­hi­bi­tion in Iran?

It is not clear yet. Right now I want to travel to Iran again and en­joy its at­trac­tions and meet its peo­ple. Ira­ni­ans’ hos­pi­tal­ity was of great sig­nif­i­cance to me and I must con­fess that I have not seen any peo­ple in the world more hos­pitable than Ira­ni­ans in Is­fa­han.

I will rec­om­mend my friends in France to make a trip to Iran. Since there are so much pro­pa­ganda against Iran, I will tell my friends about my ob­ser­va­tions in Iran and the re­al­ity.

What is your opin­ion about the role of diplo­macy of art and cul­tural diplo­macy in getting Iran and France closer?

I be­lieve they play a sig­nif­i­cant role. That’s why the French Em­bassy in Iran in­vites artists and cul­tural fig­ures to come to Iran and hold ex­hi­bi­tions and fairs. In my opin­ion, cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal diplo­macy are com­ple­men­tary.

How do you eval­u­ate the pres­ence of Ira­nian women in cul­tural and so­cial fields?

They al­ways wel­comed us with their smiles. Fe­male artists in Ira­nian Artists Fo­rum were also highly ac­tive in their fields. We did not think that Ira­nian women are this much om­nipresent in the so­ci­ety.

Ex­clu­sive IRAN DAILY

IRNA

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