England seeks to revive its colonial culture in Iran: Art Bureau official

June 12, 2019

TEHRAN – The director of Art Bureau’s Visual Arts Center has said that England is seeking to revive its colonial culture in Iran.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of a cartoon exhibit entitled “Keep Calm, I Am the Queen”, Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai, said, “At the beginning of World War II, nearly 2.5 million posters for the motto ‘Keep Calm, I Am the Queen’ were published and these posters have been distributed across the world since then.”

“Yesterday, I saw a young man carrying one of them on back of his shirt. Unfortunately, many people do not know that this is a colonial slogan and a perfect symbol of the Queen’s hegemony,” he added.

The cartoon exhibition opened at the Abolfazl Aali Gallery of the Art Bureau on Tuesday evening just two days before a celebration that the British Embassy in Tehran plans to organize to mark the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.

The British Embassy has sent invitations to a number of Iranian companies to sponsor the celebration by paying £2500.

Shojaei-Tabatabai who is also a renowned cartoonist and an organizer of the International Holocaust Cartoon Contest in Iran said that the exhibit’s focus is not the birthday of Queen Elizabeth, “because it is a national event in England.”

“What led us to organize the exhibition is Britain’s double standard and its culture of colonialism,” he noted.

“We have recently witnessed a    strange phenomenon especially after appointing Rob Macaire as new ambassador of England that can be viewed as a return of Britain’s colonial culture to Iran,” he stated.

He said that the invitations to the Iranian companies and also inviting Iranian women to attend occasional parties the embassy organizes in Tehran are examples of the return of Britain’s colonial culture to Iran.

Shojaei-Tabatabai said that Macaire has been invited to visit the exhibition, which will run until June 26.

Photo: Former secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeid Jalili (L) and Art Bureau’s Visual Arts Center director Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai visit the cartoon exhibition “Keep Calm, I Am the Queen” at Abolfazl Aali Gallery in Tehran on June 11, 2019. (Mehr/Shahab Qayyumi)

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