This new documentary, by IranWire/Off-Centre Productions, explores two different cases of discrimination, South Africa under Apartheid and the persecution of Baha’is in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Among those interviewed in the film are a former advisor to Nelson Mandela who fled Iran and became a leading South African economist, elders in Soweto who remember the worst years of Apartheid, and a surgeon whose grandfather was executed in Iran for being a Baha’i.
Through interviews and archival footage, the film shows that systemic discrimination carries a heavy cost: one borne not only by those discriminated against, but by society at a whole.
“Discrimination is like cancer. It does not sit in one organ. It spreads through the whole body, destroying everything, even the parts that you thought might be immune”.
– Arash Azizi, filmmaker
The screening of the 30-minute documentary will be followed by a panel discussion which will focus on the human, economic and social costs of discrimination in Iran, South Africa and beyond.
Dr Sam Kosari experienced religious discrimination in his home country of Iran, where he was prevented from attending university because he was a Baha'i. He came to Australia and completed a PhD in Neuropharmacology and Neurophysiology at RMIT University. He is now Assistant Professor in Pharmacy at the University of Canberra.
Dr Heba Batainah is Assistant Professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Canberra. Her research interests include the Middle East, identity and issues of belonging in modern nation states. Her current research project focuses on the experiences of Syrian refugee women.
Dr Raihan Ismail is a lecturer at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Australian National University. Her research interests include Islam, Political Islam, sectarianism and Middle East politics.
Dr Melissa Lovell, Convenor & Research Fellow, Freilich Foundation, Australian National University.
This event is co-hosted by the Herbert & Valmae Freilich Foundation and the Australian Bahá'í Community.
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Food and drink will be available for purchase from the ANU Pop-Up Village food stalls and can be consumed during this event.