This issue’s cover art, Samira Alikhanzadeh’s Ata and Aziz Troupe, 1291 A.P., part of the artist’s series Centennial, illustrates the centennial celebration of the emergence of female musicians and entertaining troupes in modern Iran.1 In this 2013 series of print images, Alikhanzadeh delineates memories of the past not as a set of historical facts and examples but as a series of problems and interpretations in need of viewers’ critical interventions and interactional analysis.

The history of women’s presence in music and dance in Iran is as ancient as the country itself. Women entertainers appeared in sculpture reliefs and miniature paintings as far back as the Achaemenid (550–331 BCE), Sassanid (224–651 CE), and Safavid (1501–1722) periods, the three Iranian empires well known for their enormous support for and investment in architecture, fine arts, and entertaining arts,...

You do not currently have access to this content.