Art and Literature

Entries about creativity in all its forms, plus original creative material.

The Secret of Suranesh

A young man from a high mountain tribe has been told by his mother that he is not her son, and not one of them. She says that he must leave his village and seek out his own origins. In a quest that stretches across a continent, Suranesh meets four remarkable elders, a dispersed order of priests who went into exile before the kingdom in which they were living was destroyed by cataclysms, culminating in the great flood remembered in the myths and ancient stories of virtually every people on earth, the memory of “Atalan.”

In the process of investigating his own origins, Suranesh learns the history of the kingdom that has just been destroyed, and suspects that he is destined to be the new king of the land. But what he gains on his journey is much more than the kingdom he desires.


{josquote}As a regular speaker on spirituality and the Baha’i faith, Seale said the movie uses such an event as a springboard into discussions of religious and spiritual issues.{/josquote}

Shot entirely on public lands in Texas by first-time filmmakers Jay Galvan and Avrel Seale, The Secret of Suranesh constitutes a watershed moment in guerilla filmmaking, as well as a profound spiritual exploration and an allegory for the long journey of humanity.

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Background story: Valley natives’ feature-length film debuts at Cine El Rey

Subverting violent computer games with religious poetry

A scene from the third chapter - the Valley of Knowledge.

Who better to begin an artistic backlash against violent computer games than a computer games design lecturer - converting a first person shooter into a tribute to a 19th century sacred text.

The game Unreal is familiar to computer games fans worldwide as one of the most prominent games of the 'run and gun' genre - otherwise known as 'first person shooters'. But here at the University of Ballarat the familiar scenery and backgrounds for Unreal have been re-imagined by head lecturer Chris Nelson for an entirely different purpose.

"What I've done is to take a computer game - a first person shooter computer game, where the main idea is to actually run around and kill your opponents, and the person who gets the most kills wins in the end. I've taken it and subverted it, using the game to create an interactive artwork based on the mystical treatise The Seven Valleys," he says.

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Seven Valleys homepage
Images and downloadable movies of Chris Nelson's installation


Writer/Producer/Director: Masoud Varjavandi
Starring:Daniel Balcaban, Alexander Hasan, Jelena Kesic and Laura Whitnall
Crew: Philip Kan, Ezequiel Tolnay, Brett Maverix and Mehrdad Varjavandi

Awards Won: - 2004 Australian Baha'i film festival The Sirus Naraqi Award for 'Most Original Concept'

A struggle of a man to find peace within himself through the turmoil of his life; from persecution of his family in Iran, as a child, to a life he did not choose in Australia, as an adult.


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Elysium on Earth - Dream a Dream

Since the beginning of the Baha'i New Era, world has been blessed with a new cycle of spiritual, social, technological and scientific energy which has fulfilled the prophecies and visions of the past. Thanks to Baha'u'llah and the teachings of Baha'i Faith Life has a new life, Words have a new meaning and world is a new world.

Baha'u'llah says

"Through the movement of Our Pen of glory We have, at the bidding of the omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a new life into every human frame, and instilled into every word a fresh potency. All created things proclaim the evidences of this world-wide regeneration. This is the most great, the most joyful tidings imparted by the Pen of this wronged One to mankind... Every man of insight will, in this day, readily admit that the counsels which the Pen of this wronged One hath revealed constitute the supreme animating power for the advancement of the world and the exaltation of its peoples."
(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 92)


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Belgium honours Robin White

Masterton-based artist Robin White with her Foundation Samii-Housseinpour prize from Belgium. Photo: Lynda Feringa

Robin WHITE, one of New Zealand's leading artists who lives in Masterton, has been given a prize by the Belgian Samii-Housseinpour Foundation for her outstanding achievement in the arts.

The international award comes with a grant of 4,000 euros ($7500). She joins a prestigious list of leading artists and musicians who have been given the prize.

It recognises "the significance of her treasured body of work, which explores universal themes through a spiritual approach to the visual arts, earning wide acclaim."

The foundation set up its prize to encourage excellence by followers of the Baha'i faith of which White is a leading member.

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