SOAS University of London

Centre for Iranian Studies

Taq Kasra: Wonder of Architecture

Arch of Ctesiphon
Directed by Pejman Akbarzadeh

Date: 1 February 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 1 February 2018Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Film

World Premiere screening of Taq Kasra: Wonder of Architecture, the first-ever documentary film on the world's largest brickwork vault. The palace was the symbol of the Persian Empire in the Sasanian era (224-651 AD), when a major part of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) was part of Persia. Taq Kasra was in serious danger of ISIS attacks in 2015-2016 and this was the main motivation for documentary maker Pejman Akbarzadeh, based in Holland, to travel to Iraq twice and film the arch before it was potentially destroyed.

Taq Kasra in late antiquity was a royal Persian residence but since a few centuries ago, in view of geopolitical changes in the Near East, it is located in Iraqi territory, close to Baghdad. It was neglected shortly after the Arab invasion of Persia (Iran) in the 7th century AD but remained a source of inspiration for archaeologists, poets and other travellers. The film explores the history and architecture of this iconic monument with respected archaeologists and scholars from around the world and portrays the huge impact of war and ideological policies on the identity of this ancient arch. Watch the trailer here.

The documentary is produced by the Persian Dutch Network, in association with Toos Foundation, and co-funded by the Soudavar Memorial Foundation.

Following the screening, a Q&A session will be held with the presence of the documentary director Pejman Akbarzadeh and Vesta Sarkhosh-Curtis of the British Museum, a scholar of Persian art in Sasanian and Parthian eras.

Admission Free - All Welcome

Photo: Taq Kasra (or Arch of Ctesiphon) in 2017. © Photo by Pejman Akbarzadeh.

Organiser: Centre for Iranian Studies

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