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Shab-e Yalda (Yaldā Night) Red in Reading خونِ خواندن

December 21, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

Shab-e Yalda (Yaldā Night) winter solstice, the longest and darkest night of the year, is celebrated in Iran and other countries including Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Armenia. The longest and darkest night of the year is a time when friends and family gather together to eat, drink and read poetry until well after midnight. Fruits and nuts are eaten and pomegranates and watermelons are particularly significant. The red color in these fruits symbolizes the crimson hues of dawn and glow of life.

This year, we read in the light of another red, in the light and warmth of the feminist revolution. We read and celebrate the birth of the new, we read for Zhen, Zhian, Azadi (Woman, Life, Freedom). We are poets, performers, witches, midwives giving life to this historical moment.

Mandana Mansouri, Ali Jaf, and Pegah Tabassinejad, will host a reading night at the Massy Art Society on Wednesday, December 21 at 6pm. They will read a collective text, a collection of poems and texts from and for Iran. With pomegranates and poetry, we celebrate. A night of celebration of light, a celebration of red. There is red in reading and we explore that. There is red in reading. We invite participants to bring a poem or a text that resonates with them, a text you wish to offer.

Registration is free, open to all and mandatory for entrance.


Venue & Accessibility

Registration is pay-what-you-can, open to all and required for entrance. The gallery is wheelchair accessible and a gender-neutral washroom is on-site. Please refrain from wearing scents or heavy perfumes. 

For more on accessibility including parking, seating, venue measurements and floor plan, and more, please visit: massyarts.com/accessibility

Covid Protocols: Masks keep our community safe and are mandatory (N95 masks are recommended as they offer the best protection). We ask if you are showing symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.

This event will be in Farsi and English.


Hosted by

Mandana Mansouri is a displaced Kurdish artist and writer. Her exile started long before moving anywhere. She started forgetting her mother tongue when she went to school in 1988. Now she is remembering. As a physical being, she is an uninvited guest on the stolen land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ First Nations. In her mind, she is dancing with her people in front of a fire. 

Ali Jaf is an unruly multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker based on the so-called Vancouver, a colonial fiction on the land and water that has been and will remain forever indigenous. He is a passionate maker, he believes in knowledge-making through making and through relationships. He is a co-founder of the Offside Art Gallery, a center for Middle Eastern artists, creators, storytellers and researchers.

Pegah Tabassinejad is an Interdisciplinary artist, educator and wanderer mostly presenting her work in the format of video installations and performances. Born in Iran currently lives and works on the unceded and ancestral territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples, the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Tabassinejad holds an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and a BA in Stage Directing from the University of Art in Tehran. She studied Contemporary Dance in Paris at Conservatoire de la Danse and exhibited her work internationally. She has taught various studio and seminar courses at the University of Art in Tehran, and international Institutes, as well as leading workshops in Paris, Tehran and Vancouver.


December 21, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST