Writing on the City (Iran, 2015)
Director: Keywan Karimi
60 minutes
Farsi, with English and Turkish subtitles

12.05.2018, 18.00 at SALT Beyoğlu

“Someday the walls will have the transparency of our desires.” Raoul Vaneigem

Walls are critical sites. They rise with cities and call on faces, names, and the written word; those strong and those weak, slogans, poems, and anthems. We read the walls to discover the dwellers' dreams, who they believe is sovereign, as well as those who believe in changing the status quo. We realize how dissatisfied people come out of their hiding places to write something on the wall in darkness, looking to the future, turning their back on the past. … No wall, even if totally white, could be found without a trace of markers and sprays. Walls and writing never separate; this eternal promise is called writing on the city… - K. Karimi

Writing on the City is an essay film on the evolution of graffiti in Tehran by Kurdish-Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi. It tells the story of Iran’s political history over the last three decades. The film is neither ‘for’, nor ‘against’ something, but instead presents the walls of Tehran as a site of social, political, as well as quotidian and subconscious expressions by a diverse Iranian public.

View trailer:

Writing on the City’s premiere in Turkey is hosted by SALT Beyoğlu, as part of the parallel exhibition at MARSistanbul, Metaphorical Space, curated by Pınar Öğrenci and Minou Norouzi. The event is supported by SAHA as part of “Grant for the Sustainability of Independent Art Initiatives”, Openvizor, Arts Council England, and the Austrian Cultural Forum Istanbul.

Keywan Karimi (b. 1985) is a Kurdish-Iranian filmmaker based in Tehran and Paris.

Image: Writing on the City, Keywan Karimi, Iran, 2015