In the 1970s, Fereydoun Farrokhzad was a significant cultural icon, sex symbol, and chart-topping pop singer whose music and television programs were heard and viewed by millions of Iranians. A decade later, living in political exile in Germany, he was found brutally murdered.
The murder, still unsolved, serves as the starting point for “Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World,” a new theatrical work by British-Iranian theater maker Javaad Alipoor, featuring Iranian musician, writer, actor, and podcast host King Raam. The show will be staged as part of the UMS season while this series event will bring Alipoor and Raam together to showcase their individual practices and a discussion of their collaboration and their common cultural background and influences.
Javaad Alipoor is an artist, writer, and the Artistic Director of The Javaad Alipoor Company. He is a former ACE changemaker and was Resident Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres for their 2017/18 season, and prior to this was Associate Director at Theatre in the Mill from 2015 to 2017. He was a founding member of the International Alliance in Support of Iranian Workers, the Syria Solidarity Campaign, and the Bradford-based pro-EU Migrant organization #BradfordSaysEveryoneStays. Alipoor’s writing about international politics, cultural policy, and art has been featured in The Guardian, The Independent, and The Stage. His plays are published by Oberon, and his poetry by Art in Unusual Places.
King Raam started his musical career in the undergrounds of Tehran. With a great deal of international press behind his band, including features in the New York Times, MTV, Billboard, NPR, CNN, VICE, NME and Vanity Fair, Raam paved the way for a new generation of aspiring underground Iranian artists. Besides his live shows with his band, Raam has also channeled his creative energy into a one man storytelling performance called “Departure” about his family’s experience of detainment and his father’s murder by the state, woven together with his music.He also has a podcast in Persian called “Masty o Rasty,” which translates to the Drunken Truth. Since its inception in 2020 the show has had over 40 million streams.
This event will be moderated by twenty-year veteran of NPR, Neda Ulaby who reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR’s Arts Desk.
Presented in partnership with the University Musical Society, with support from the Arts & Resistance LSA Theme Semester. This project was made possible by a grant from the Arts Initiative at the University of Michigan.
Series presenting partners: Detroit Public Television and PBS Books. Media partner: Michigan Radio.
In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.