DOXA presents Going Up the Stairs

Event Details

Kay Meek Centre

Akram, an illiterate Iranian woman, shows us that true talent will always refuse to be stifled, and that you don’t need an education to understand, to feel, and to paint. She discovered her talent quite by chance at the age of 50, when she was helping her grandson with his homework.

The magic of painting holds an irresistible appeal for this uneducated woman who was married off at the age of nine to the then 28-year-old Heydar, and has had to stand on our own two feet ever since. When her authoritarian spouse is out, Akram paints as if her life depends on it. She then hides the primitive, colorful, and expressive paintings under the carpet. But then her “hobby” is discovered and an exhibition of her work is organized in Paris.

The rules dictate that she must ask her husband’s permission to go to the opening, but she puts this off for as long as she can. The camera remains in Akram’s home as she paints and squabbles with the cynical Heydar, who thinks she is wasting too much paint. This, then, is a portrait of a painter who expresses herself as colorfully in words as she does in imagery, but it is also a tragicomic portrait of a traditional Iranian marriage.

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