Reading Žižek in Tehran

An interview with Kamran Baradaran, an Iranian translator of Slavoj Žižek.

In a world of capital words easily become cliche-ridden and therefore devoid of power to change anything. Whom should we rely on to challenge the status-quo?

Kamran Baradaran – an Iranian translator of Slavoj Žižek, seems to have found inspiration in his own quest for free thought. He developed a personal acquaintance with the Slovenian philosopher, whom he interviewed a few times and whose books he got translated into Persian. Now Kamran joins Vladimir Mitev in a discussion about Žižek, Iranians and the West. What makes Žižek appealing to Iranians and to Kamran specifically? How can Žižek contribute to understanding the specific situation – intellectual and geopolitical – in Iran? In what does the subversive power of Žižek lie? 

Kamran explains all that and also shares a few political jokes with the Romanian left-wing writer Panait Istrati and the Russian cosmonaut Yurii Gagarin as characters. Žižek is a master in mixing the high realms of philosophy with earthly self-deprecating humour. As seen from this interview, Kamran has also been developing that tradition. 

Photo: (source: The Barricade)

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