What a 14th century metal bag teaches about Islam | Sussan Babaie | TEDxCourtauldInstitute by TEDx Talks   2 years ago

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What can art objects tell us about who we are, where we come from and the world we live in? In this fascinating talk, Sussan Babaie uses a 14th century metal bag made in Iraq, on display in The Courtauld Gallery, to offer insight into Islamic culture. Though an example of Islamic art, this metal bag says little about the Islamic faith, but much about a culture of high literature, entertainment and open-mindedness. Art objects, Sussan shows, are witnesses to nuanced histories that teach us about both the past and present.

Sussan Babaie teaches Islamic arts at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her research on the early modern Persian painting and architecture explore urbanity and the built environment, representations of sexuality, and aspects of food and culinary habits as visual taste. She also lectures and writes on the contemporary arts of Iran and the Middle East. She is the author of the award-winning Isfahan and Its Palaces: Statecraft, Shi‘ism and the Architecture of Conviviality in Early Modern Iran (2008), and the co-author of Persian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1989), Slaves of the Shah: New Elites of Safavid Iran (2004), Shirin Neshat (2013), and Persian Kingship and Architecture: Strategies of Power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis (2014). Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (United States), the Fulbright (for Egypt and Syria) and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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