Afghan Supper - 2023
Afghan Supper is a socially engaged art project that invites the public to gather at my father’s factory near Eshgh Abad, the name translates into Love Land, situated some distance from Tehran. This event took place on August 18th, which coincided with both my birthday and Afghanistan’s Independence Day. The project aims to bring together Iranians from diverse backgrounds and introduce them to Afghan culture by offering a taste of authentic Afghan cuisine, skillfully prepared by an Afghan immigrant’s wife – Bibi Gol – who resides in the predominantly low-income Eshgh Abad community.
The project is inspired by the short story “The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin.
The story “The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas” revolves around a utopian city named Omelas, inhabited by intelligent and cultured residents who live in joy and happiness. Everything in this city is good and beautiful, except for one issue: the city’s entire fortune and stability depend on the mistreatment of a child, whom they keep in darkness, filth, and hunger. All citizens must become aware of this issue once they reach adulthood and witness the unfortunate child at least once. Upon learning of this unsettling truth, the citizens are initially shocked and repulsed by the city’s tradition of cruelty. However, over time, they become accustomed to this reality, rationalizing that the misery of the child brings happiness to the city. Nevertheless, a few citizens, young or old, quietly leave the city one day, heading to an unknown destination that nobody can fathom. The story concludes with these lines:
“The place they go is even more unimaginable to us than the city of happiness. I can never describe it. It might not even exist. But it seems they know where they are going. Those who walked away from Omelas.”