Orientalische Filmreihe im Ateliertheater am Montag den 25. Oktober ab 19:00 Uhr

Siyahan-e Jonub

Film Documentary on the Lives of Afro-Iranians in the Southern Coasts of Iran

Regie und Forschung: Farhad Varahram, Kamera: Reza Teymouri, Ton: Ahmad Reza Taei, Schnitt: Mehdi Bagheri, Produzent: Farhad Varahram

56 Min., Iran, 2014, OmeU

In 500 BC, during the Achaemenid dynasty and thereafter, Iranian sailors and merchants carried their goods to Muscat, Mogadishu, Zanzibar, Darussalam, and Tanganyika. The frequent journeys resulted in the influence of the African culture on the traditions and customs of those who lived on the Iranian coasts of the Persian Gulf. After the conquest of Iran by the Arabs, some Africans came to Iran with the Islamic troops and settled down on the northern coasts of the Persian Gulf. 

During the 15th and 16th centuries AD, the Portuguese sold Somalian and Zanzibari black people on the coasts and islands of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Until half a century ago, the old black people still remembered the migrations. Many of these Afro-Iranians settled on the southern coasts of Iran in the provinces Khuzestan, Bushehr, Hormozgan, Sistan and Baluchistan and south of Kerman. There is not any precise or approximate statistics available about this population. Wherever on the southern coasts of Iran the Afro-Iranians settled down, they assumed the language, accent, and religion of the region. What they have not forgotten, however, is the cultural mementos they brought from their homeland, which have had a major impact on the culture of the southern region of Iran. Afro-Iranians have, especially, influenced the music of the people on the southern coasts of Iran. In most houses of Afro-Iranians, especially in the region of Hormozgan, you will find small and large tablas (African drums). Most of the musicians are wondering troubadours and called upon for healing ceremonies.   

Over the decades, during research in the region, Farhad Varahram forged a relationship with various inhabitants of the region and decided to make a documentary film about Afro-Iranians in southern Iran, with a focus on the unique aspects of the culture, music, lifeways, rituals and beliefs and their economy: livings made from farming, seafaring, fishing and work in various sectors. ‘Black Lives’ is a beautifully filmed glimpse into the lives of Afro-Iranians living in Southern Iran without narration, which allows the viewer to soak in the sights and sounds.