“Shahr-e-farang” — which literally translates to “city of Europe” — was a popular form of entertainment in Iran during the first half of the 20th century, based on the European “peep show.” This form of entertainment gained popularity in Persian culture after Mozaffar ad-Din Shah was introduced to the European style of peep show at the Paris World Fair in 1901. For the next 60 years, these decorative boxes traveled through towns, captivating both adults and children. However, with the advent of television, these ornate automations gradually disappeared, becoming valuable antique items for art collectors.
In this collaborative project, goldsmith Pasha Moezzi and illustrator Salva Modarres, both of Persian descent, aim to recreate the essence of shahr-e-farang. Moezzi and Modarres’ goal is to remind people of a time when mindlessly scrolling on smartphones was not an integral part of our lives.