For centuries, nature has played significant roles in the Persianate world. Across generations and beyond national borders, Persian gardens and parks have carried traces of narratives, beliefs and attitudes of those who designed, built and used them. This article explores Persian garden history and philosophy, and the emergence of urban parks in Iran. It examines the evolution of cultural attitudes and their reflections in contemporary meanings, layout and use of parks. Landscape narratives both influence and are shaped by shifting cultural values and needs. Urbanisation – and the necessity for urban dwellers to experience ‘nature’ in new environments, sociocultural factors and habitus transformation contribute to the diminution of the role of ‘traditional’ narratives in contemporary design. Nevertheless, the importance of spaces of stillness in landscape design, inherited from Persian garden ideology, influences recreational behaviour in Iran’s contemporary urban parks.
Traditional and Contemporary Uses of Gardens and Parks in Iran
Persian Poetry and Diasporic Iranian Literature in Australia
Nasim Yazdani and Michele Lobo
Displacement following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, and later political instability in the Middle East, has led to the increase of Iranian migrants to Australia and beyond, many of whom live in exile and can never return. This article explores how Iranian conceptualisations of the sea provide a framework for entanglements with nature and the environment that are poetic and turbulent, and provides insights into nostalgia and belonging. It explores some entanglements with the ‘sea’ in the work of classical and contemporary Persian poets, diasporic Iranian women’s literature, artwork and memories of newcomers of Iranian heritage who seek asylum in Australia. The article also highlights the connections between poet and world through investigating the role of the geographical realm and nostalgia in producing the worlds of human relations and thoughts with the place.