TARA AGHDASHLOO is a writer, filmmaker, host, and curator based in London, U.K. She was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to Canada at the age of 15, where she finished her BA of Journalism at Ryerson University. She writes articles and reviews for a number of international magazines and newspapers. From 2010 to 2013 she worked as a broadcast journalist for BBC World’s PTV before joining Manoto TV as a creative producer, presenter and director.
She writes in both English and Persian, and published her first poetry collection This is Not a Pomegranate in 2011. Tara obtained her MA in Global Media and Postnational Communication at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in September 2012, and co-founded East London’s The Invisible Line contemporary art gallery as the head curator and artistic director. She has worked for Clan Productions, creating reports on arts and culture. In November 2014 her 7-part series on contemporary art and culture in Europe aired on Manoto TV. Tara’s one-hour documentary on issues relating to young people aired in March 2015. In 2016, she wrote, produced, and presented a popular series called Ticket, focusing on Iranian diasporic communities in four main cities of Toronto, Los Angeles, Stockholm and London. In the follow up to the parliamentary elections in Iran, she wrote and directed a 30-minute documentary about the life and work of Iranian MPs in the Swedish Parliament. This summer, her 60-minutes documentary about the value of contemporary art will go on air.
1988, Jan 5 – Born in Tehran, Iran.
1993 – Paints her cat. Watercolour on paper. Falls in love with painting.
1998 – Writes her first poem, dedicated to the death of her father’s best friend, Ali Dashti. Falls in love with poetry.
2000 – Award for a poem in middle school, called Waiting. (First encounter with censorship: the words ‘love’ and ‘kiss’ are replaced, and the poem is misrepresented as anticipation for prophet Mahdi’s resurrection.)
2001 – Finishes a 310-page novel, Rebecca in the Mirror.
2002 – Moves to Toronto, Canada.
2002 – Enters Newton Brook High School. Discovers a love for politics, philosophy and history.
2003 – First published poem, in Karnaameh magazine.
2004 – First public reading of her poems for a Persian audience. Accused of using her father’s fame to get her own. Resents having to publicly read/publish her work.
2006 – Enters Ryerson University for BA of journalism.
2007 – Participates in a theatre workshop with Soheil Parsa. Perfoms at Tirgan Festival. Falls in love with theatre.
2008 – Volunteers for International Conference on Iranian Studies.
2009 – Witnesses the post-election unrest in Tehran, Iran. Falls in love with journalism, again. Publishes feature articles on the events.
2010, May – Interns at The Ottawa Citizen newspaper; Assigned and original reports on the city.
2010, September – Begins contributing reports to BBC Persian television. Falls in love with broadcast reportage.
2011, January – Begins working with King Raam, writing lyrics for his solo album. The song The Hunter becomes a hit.
2011, May – First public reading of her English poems, along with a reading by Dorothy Rath of her book of correspondence with poet Irving Layton. Rath passed away in the morning of the event.
2011, April – Main act for Art Gallery of Ontario’s Massive Party, as Marchesa Luisa Casati.
2011, June – Publishes her collection of Persian poetry, This is Not a Pomegranate.
2011, September – Enters the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, for MA in Global Media and Postnational Communication.
2011, November – Songs of the Wolves, debut album with King Raam, is released.
2012, September – Completes dissertation on the representation of Afghan refugees in Iran, on Persian speaking media.
2012, October – Art directing The Invisible Line Gallery in East London.
2012, November – Clan Productions: directing and producing short features for Tamasha, a weekly arts and culture television programme.
2013, September – Manoto1 Television: co-host and producer of a new show, Samte No.
2014, July – Samte No season two begins.
2014, November – The City Map: a weekly show about contemporary art in different European cities.
2015, March – The Challenge of Youth: documentary on the problems facing Iran’s young population, looking at how Toronto became “the best city to be young in.”
2015, November – Ticket: mini-series on the life, identity, and stories of the Iranian diaspora living in LA, Toronto, London and Stockholm.
2016, February – Riksdag, The Story of a Few Iranians: Produced, directed, presented, and edited this documentary about the journey of 5 Iranian MPs in the Swedish parliament.
2016, March – Welcome to My Life, profile of the designer behind The Tehran Times and Maison Araz Fazaeli.
2016, July – The Value of Contemporary Art, a one hour documentary filmed in London and Berlin.