“Dr Orkideh Behrouzan is a physician, medical anthropologist, anthropologist of science and technology, author of Prozak Diaries, as well as a poet and storyteller. In this insightful and awe-inspiring talk, Orkideh looks at memories of childhood and war to disrupt how we conventionally think about mental health, the Middle East, and the relationship between individual and collective memories.”
This year, 2020, marks the 40th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War. Dr. Orkideh Behrouzan speaks with co-editor Azadeh Tajpour about her childhood in Iran during the war and how these experiences are represented in her creative and scholarly work. In particular, this interview centers two of her creative pieces: the short story “The War We Lived” and the poem “Leica.” Both pieces, which you may read in full below, bring to light the impact of war and militarism on one’s experience of gender and youth.
Interview with Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP)
Iranians have repurposed, recongured and transliterated the psychiatric concepts of depression and trauma as depreshen and toroma. In this wide-ranging interview, Orkideh Behrouzan speaks with Sheila Carapico about the politics of Iranian mental health care policy, public discussion of the eects of 40 years of revolution and war and the ways in which a younger generation is forming identities through depreshen-talk.
Orkideh Behrouzan on Generational Memory; BBC Persian; Shirazeh Series, March 2018 شیرازه . به تهیه کنندگی سام فرزانه.این برنامه در چشمانداز بامدادی جمعه ١٠ فروردین ١٣٩٧ ( ٣٠ مارس ۲۰۱۸) پخش شد
Orkideh Behrouzan interviewed on Radio Dastneveshteha, discussing generational memory and the limits of the concept of 'trauma'. Focusing on the lived life of 1980s Iran, she discusses her book Prozak Diaries, the concept of 'rupture', and why the notion of 'collective trauma' fails to capture the cultural and psychological afterlife of war and traumatic memories. @RadioDastneveshteha Episode 17, July 2019. Language: Persian
در این اپیزود بخشهای از سه مصاحبه مفصل با ارکیده بهروزان، سحر سخایی و مرتضی کریمی را درباره خاطره جمعی، ترومای جمعی و دهه شصت خواهید شنید
Orkideh Behrouzan discusses the socio-political and the medical contexts of the Corona epidemic in Iran, the securitization of information and the context of public anxiety, also drawing on historical parallels such as post-revolution public health policies of the 1980s and Iran's official approach to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990s.
For non Persian speakers, the content of the BBC interview is summarised in this twitter thread.
Interview with Asia Insider: COVID 19 in the Middle East
(Feb 29, 2020)
"We do know that despite confirmation of diagnosis certain measures were not taken and experts' calls for, for example, limiting movement in and around the city of Qom and stopping flights to and from China were ignored," she noted. "The defining factor of this epidemic in Iran is the way it has been politicised," Dr Behrouzan added.
Discussing the mental health impact of Covid19 in Iran and the longterm impact on vulnerable groups, minorities, the bereaved, Health Care Workers, and the impossibility of mourning, and the psycho-political contexts and consequences compared to past social ruptures such as the Iran Iraq War.