Mahyar Entezari teaches Persian, in addition to Iranian cinema. He completed his Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation, “The Other Self: Representations of Afghans in Iranian Cinema” is the focus of his book project.
Despite the linguistic and cultural ties between Afghanistan and Iran, xenophobia towards Afghans has been widespread in Iran. In Iranian cinema, though, attitudes expressed toward Afghans have diverged significantly from those in the dominant culture. This talk addresses representations of Afghans in Iranian art-house films of the 1990s and early 2000s, as well as multiculturalism more generally, with a focus on constructions (and deconstructions) of the Iranian “Self” vis-à-vis the Afghan “Other”. This talk is followed by the screening of the movie “The White Balloon” by Jafar Panahi, 85 min.