Posts Tagged ‘Iran’


Friday, November 17th, 2017

Sums & Collisions is a new experimental series by Sonorous Circle to feature rare or one-off collaborations.

The first in the series is FIR·MA·MENT, a video by TRISTAN J BROOKS, filmed in Israel, Iran and Turkey, with music edited from an improvisation between Esoterror, I.RYOKO & Matt Faisandier (of THE CONVOY) in Wellington, NZ. Watch here & read on for Brooks’ ideas behind the video…

“This work is compiled of footage I took during a trip to the Middle East – from Israel, Iran and Turkey. Two interlinked threads guide this video. First, a personal fascination with mysticism that drove me to the Middle East – a mysticism that is now largely concealed in the Middle East, buried under politics. I grew up Catholic. Spending time in Hiruharama (Jerusalem) up the Whanganui river living with the Sisters of Compassion when my mother died resurrected my youth’s fascination with biblical mysticism, but in a darker way (through grief). This resurrection created a connection with the Middle Eastern Jerusalem, and a curiosity to seek out mysticism in the flesh. Jerusalem became a pilgrimage of sorts for me.”

“On arrival, I found that the Middle East’s current soul is almost an antithesis to the mystic nature of its recorded past. It is a medley of lifestyles, passion and emotional connections that is blanketed by monoist theocratic/political governments. Looking over the footage on my return, the political gravity/bleakness was almost too overt. I wanted to draw out, and play with, the grandiose of faith, ideologies and mysticism that still underhandedly rests in the Middle East’s belly. So second, I drew on the montage and discontinuous editing techniques from early Russian film theorists Sergei Eisenstein and Lev Kuleshov. Eisenstein and Kuleshov recognised that the meaning of an image/video is derived from the images/videos surrounding it. When moving images are placed in a string of uncontextual narratives, especially a moving image with its Hegelian antithesis, complex and twisted meanings (or Hegelian Syntheses) can emerge. I hoped that stringing together my footage in Eisenstein and Kuleshov’s shadow would provide space for both its mysticism to seep through, and to confuse regular narratives conveyed about the Mid-East.”Tristan J Brooks


Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

The proverbial war drums are beating louder than I have ever heard them. Admittedly I wasn’t listening as attentively during the ‘sexed-up’ lead-up to the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions – this time, however, I am trying to pay attention to both sides of the story. Maybe we can witness the mechanics of the phantom leviathan that always seems to succeed in pulling the world into spirals of endless armed conflict.

As yet, no one has admitted responsibility for the latest chemical weapons attacks in Syria, and the government have flatly denied it, yet the US & UK are ‘finalising plans to strike at the end of the week‘.

Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, “dismissing the chemical weapons accusations as “nonsense” and “unsubstantiated” said the United States, Britain and France had long sought to justify a military intervention in Syria.”

In an interview for a Russian newspaper yesterday he went on to say, “Failure awaits the United States as in all previous wars it has unleashed… they don’t know history and don’t learn its lessons… Have they even glanced through the documents of their predecessors who failed in all wars they started since Vietnam? Have they realized those wars brought about nothing but havoc and instability in the Middle East and in other regions?” 

Despite insistent denials from Damascus, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, spoke very strongly against the Syrian government, spelling out that the US ‘know’ it was them. He then offered a classic appeal; “It is really hard to express in words the human suffering they lay out before us. As a father, I can’t get the image out of my head, of a man who held up his dead child, wailing while chaos swirled around him…”. These are the words of a politician whose own government is responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people all over the Middle East. The irony is crushing. And as if to pre-emptorily write-off any expressions of opposition, he said, “Anyone who could claim that an attack of this staggering scale could be contrived or fabricated needs to check their conscience and their own moral compass.” See John Kerry’s full speech here

Interestingly, President Obama has been more restrained, saying the “U.S should be weary of being drawn into very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region.”

Even so, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday that he is “weighing a military strike against Syria that would be of limited scope and duration. Such an attack would probably last no more than two days and involve sea-launched cruise missiles – or, possibly, long-range bombers – striking military targets in Syria”.

Russia and Iran have issued warnings against military intervention. The Russian Foreign Ministry said “Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa… Russia has been Assad’s most important international ally during the conflict, supplying his troops with arms and resisting pressure at the United Nations for tighter sanctions on Damascus.”

It is easy to see how things point to war, it is hard to see how they don’t.