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Fowler Films: Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile

February 16, 2023 | 5:30PM - 8:30PM



Join us for an evening honoring Hamid Naficy—scholar, filmmaker, writer, and pioneer of Iranian diaspora studies. This event is organized in conjunction with the “Iranian Diaspora in Global Perspective” conference hosted at UCLA. A courtyard reception at the Fowler will precede the screening of Maryam Sepehri’s 2017 film Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile.  A moderated conversation between Naficy, UCLA sociology professor Kevan Harris, and sociocultural anthropologist Amy Malek will follow. 

Kevan Harris, an associate professor of sociology at UCLA, studies  social change in the global South. Harris’s first book, A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran, was published by the University of California Press. Together with Jan Breman, Ching Kwan Lee, and Marcel van der Linden, he  co-edited The Social Question in the Twenty-First Century: A Global View. Harris’s current research projects focus on welfare politics in low and middle-income countries; state formation in West Asia and North Africa; business-state relations in post-revolutionary Iran; and class and social mobility in Iran before and after 1979.

Amy Malek is assistant professor of global studies and the chair/director of the Iranian & Persian Gulf studies program at Oklahoma State University.​ Malek is a sociocultural anthropologist specializing in the intersections of migration, citizenship, and culture in the Iranian diaspora. Malek’s research and teaching interests include migration studies; diaspora and transnationalism; memory; and visual culture with an emphasis on Iranian and Middle Eastern communities in North America and Europe. Her current book project is a transnational ethnography of the impacts of cultural policies on diasporic Iranian communities in Sweden, Canada, and the United States. 

Hamid Naficy is a leading authority in cultural studies of diaspora, exile, and postcolonial cinemas and media; and of Iranian and Middle Eastern cinemas and media. His pioneering work on Iranian exilic media in Los Angeles laid the foundation for the growing field of global Iranian diaspora studies. Born and raised in Iran, Naficy attended USC and UCLA for his postgraduate education. He is part of the generation that witnessed the modernization of Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which propelled him into exile. In Mouth Harp in Minor Key, filmmaker Maryam Sepehri documents Naficy’s life in the US, far from his family in Iran, offering a timely view of the experience of exile prompted by political and social unrest. 

The Fowler exhibition Amir H. Fallah: The Fallacy of Borders will be open to the public that evening. 

5:30–6:30 pm: Reception and welcoming remarks by Ali Behdad and Amy Landau

6:30–7:30 pm: Screening of Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile

7:30–8:30 pm: Hamid Naficy in conversation with Amy Malek and Kevan Harris 

Fowler Films: Discover the wider world through the power of cinema. From documentaries to art films, our curated series is designed to illuminate the diversity as well as the common threads of lived experiences of people in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the Americas, and their diasporas.

This program is made possible by a generous gift from the Ebrahimi Family Foundation and is co-sponsored by UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies, Fowler Museum, the Cinema and Media Studies program in the department of film, television and digital media, the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at San Francisco State University, and the Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies program in the School of Global Studies at Oklahoma State University.

Parking available in UCLA Lot 4, 198 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd; $3/hr or max $14/day. Rideshare drop-off at 305 Royce Dr.

Image: Film still from “Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile” 

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