Journey of Violets Collaborative project

As a multi artistic meditation combining music, sound-design, drawing and dance through the shared practice of improvisation, this project brings together eleven translations of a single poem by eminent Iranian poet and scholar Mohammad-Reza Shafiei Kadkani.  A meditation, lament and a wish, the poem has brought me to ask for audiences to write a wish that they have.  The congruency of the living wishes have been a loving tribute to the poem's depth and simplicity.

I collaborated with individuals whom I met walking the city of Yarra (and their friends around the globe who showed interest in the project) and asked them if they would consider translating and reciting the poem in the mother tongue.

The current version includes eleven translations of the original Farsi text and I hope that with each performance this continues to grow.

The Journey of Violets

In Winter’s last days,
the migration of violets is beautiful.
On grey mid-days of Winter,

When violets are moved in small wooden boxes
With their roots, leaves, grafts and soil, -their mobile homes-

Saved from cold shadows and wrapped in Springs’s satin scent;
A thousand laments spring from my chest and flow down my cheeks:
I wish humans could take their homes too -roots, leaves, grafts and soil- Wherever they move, Into illumination of rain, Under bright sunlight.

Mohammad-Reza Shafiei Kadkani (English translator: Unknown)

The first iteration of this project took place in September 2023 at Smith & Gertrude Gallery with the support from City of Yarra Arts and collaboration with artist Pouya Bagheri and dancer Jonathan Sinatra.  

Photos by: Emmanuel Santos