750 – A photo project initiated by Nancy Wong

June Perkins response to Nancy’s project

I decided to renew the Be Illumined Blog during the Bicentenary of the Bab, to share interesting projects Baha’i Creatives around the world, as well as in Brisbane are doing to celebrate this year.

A recent project I heard about and am now taking part in, is a collaborative photo project with Nancy Wong.  This project is a creative transformative response to the execution of the Bab, which happened back in 1850 in Tabriz, Iran.

Nancy has invited photographers from around the world to take photos to be part of a collage art piece that will be on display at the art exhibit of the 2019 Art In Response to Violence (ARV) conference at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois, USA. This year will be the ARV’s 10th anniversary and the conference will take place October 17-18, 2019.

Each participating photographer is sending her several portraits of people holding a lit candle. No faces will be shown, just the person’s hand(s).

She wrote to us all, “It will also be an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Birth of the Bab (October 29, 2019) by using this project as a talking piece, during the production of the images, as well as when we exhibit the final artwork. As of today, I am thinking of calling this art piece, “750 Shots”. (750 bullets; 750 photos.)

This number is reportedly the number of  rifles that were aimed at the Bab. And, as shared before, the candles are in memory of the time when the Bab was incarcerated in the city of Maku; he was not given a lamp during the long nights in prison.”

I will be interviewing Nancy to share more about the progress of the collaborative art piece on future blogs.

The collaborative aspect of Nancy’s project was so inspiring and moving, that it encouraged me to think of something like this in my own local community. I have an idea (quite different theme but with the same capacity for participation from others) brewing and will share it soon! And I am pleased to have found some collaborators for it!

Article by June Perkins

Launching Bahá’í Chronicles

heroes

Three years ago, Neda  Najibi started a series on her Facebook page titled ‘Did You Know?’ portraying stories about Bahá’í Heroes and Heroines. She  did this because she noticed there wasn’t a single online location systematically attempting to capture the heroism, struggles, victories, sacrifices, and  the dedication of  past and present Bahá’ís.

The death of Neda’s father (Nassir Najibi 1925-2013) gave her the impetus to launch Bahá’í Chronicles, to honour the many heroes and heroines, past and present, of the Bahá’í Faith.

She undertook the project to honour the memory of her father and feels he has been her guiding light for the past two years of putting this site together. 

The team that have created the site are: Neda Nassir Najibi, Co-Founder and Editor; Vanda Marie Khadem, Co-Founder. Bahá’í Chronicles intentionally does not make mention of the creators’ collegiate years, career environment or achievements but rather seeks to share the collective Bahá’í goals which resulted in this website. 

What follows is a  short promo video and then a discussion of the project.

June: Neda can you tell us why you decided to create the Bahá’í chronicles web site?

Neda: The website was a culmination of a few things: Firstly for the past 3 years I’ve been posting ‘Did You Know about the Bahá’í faith?’ on my Facebook page and realized there wasn’t one site that had all the stories. Secondly my father died in 2013. He’d always encourage me to promote the Faith, and still is my guiding light, my hero, so this site is in honor of him.

June: What have been the most inspiring aspects of putting together Bahá’í Chronicles?

Neda: It’s been a true journey where each word, each story becomes relived and it’s a great feeling of nourishing memories and sharing such history with the world.

The website is a journey of discovery and inspiration empowering us to realize our rich global legacy through stories of Bahá’í from around the world.

We’re hoping for more contributors. Currently we have Sue Chehrenegar, Ceylan Isgor-Locke, Tara Jabbari, yourself, Joy Goldblatt, Brent Poirer. Also Jonah Winters, Don Calkins, Mary Firdawsi, Candace Hill and Richard Doering have been amazing contributors, doing lots of research and providing material for the site.

June: What have been some of the challenges? For instance how easy has it been to find video and audio?

Neda: This is a continuous project where as soon as videos and audios are found they will be placed on the site.

June: So if anyone out there has more footage they should send it to you?

Neda: Yes if they have the rights to do so we would love to include them.

June: Will the site be an ongoing project?

Neda: Absolutely ! The few hundred stories that will  be on the site hopefully will grow as more people are aware of its existence. We would welcome more contributors and stories from all around the world.

June: Thanks so much for your time and I wish you all the best for the launch this week and for the future of the site.

Anyone wishing to contribute a story of a Bahá’í Hero or Heroine, to Bahá’í Chronicles should contact Neda at  editor@bahaichronicles.org

Bahai chronicles logo
 
Articles should be between 500-1000 words, well referenced, with photographs and interesting hyperlinks.  If you have any audio or film to accompany that would be greatly appreciated.  Neda will send you full guidelines if you have a story for consideration for the site. 
Email HERE  Facebook page HERE
Image at the top features (all of whom are on the site)
Top Row L-R: Mr. Abul Qasim Faizi, Queen Marie of Romania, Mona Mahmudinezhad, King of Western Samoa – Malietoa Tanumafili II, Louis Gregory, Ruhiyyih Khanum, Martha Root
Bottom Row L-R: Mary Maxwell (aka Ruhiyyih Khanum), Mr. Zikrullah Khadem, Robert Turner, Shoghi Effendi, Patricia Locke, Abdul’-Baha in Paris.

Stories that have to be told – Uncle Fred Murray

A project I am determined to finish!

Following the Crow Song

cropped-ihavedreamcollageOn the weekend I was sharing a precious story that I began researching many years ago – The Story of Fred Murray. Fred Murray was an early Indigenous Baha’i. I was able to interview some of the old people who knew him in person before he passed away.

As I told it to a dear friend, the tapestry of suffering and victory and his pure heart burning through, bought tears to both our eyes. It was as if we sat around the camp fire in my lounge room, under the stars that Fred himself rode with his brother George.

It amazed me how vivid the story had become to me over its dormant time in files and folders, my memory, and earlier attempts to do it justice.

I found some precious letters, photographs and stories people sent me about their own time with Uncle Fred and am going to…

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