On the eve of a major protest what can French philosophy possibly have to do with the Iranian Revolution?
The setting is a chance encounter on a snowy Tehran night between an Iranian student and a French philosopher. Ali, a newlywed graduate student at Tehran University goes to return a book at the University and ends up in the office of French philosopher Henri Corbin. Unable to pass up on the opportunity to speak with Corbin, Ali spends the evening discussing Mystical Islam while his new wife, Leili is out protesting. He hears gunshots and runs out into the crowd to look for her.
We regard the 1979 Iranian Revolution as an Islamic movement, few know the influence a French philosopher may have had on the Revolution. Splinters of a Careless Alphabet brings philosophy, history and religion to life through three students and a prominent Western philosopher on the eve of the Iranian Revolution when they are forced to come to terms with the choices they made that night and the resulting effects on their faith, relationships and ultimately the future of the country.
Splinters of a Careless Alphabet has been read at the American Anthropological Association’s Visual Anthropology Festival in San Jose in 2018, at University of California Irvine’s graduate student Anthropology in Transit and at The Hopscotch Reading Room in Berlin, Germany. This is the first staged reading and will follow a workshop of the play by professional actors under the direction of Elina de Santos, Co-Artistic Director of the Rogue Machine Theatre, and Resident Director of the Pacific Resident Theatre, both in Los Angeles, CA. Roxanne Varzi is a writer, artist, filmmaker and professor of Anthropology at University of California, Irvine. She was born in Iran to an American mother and Iranian father and migrated to the U.S shortly after the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Co-Sponsor / Collaborator - School of Social Sciences