Song - Artist -
Sylvia - The Antlers -
In 2003, Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd collaborated on a concept album a jazz/rap hybrid titled "In What Language?" (Pi Recordings). The title came from a quote by Jafar Panahi upon his detention and deportation (pre-9/11, by the way). Panahi was en route from a film festival in Hong Kong to one in Buenos Aires. He was changing planes in JFK, when he was detained by INS for several hours; eventually being sent back to Hong Kong (in handcuffs).
"He wanted to explain his story to fellow passengers: "I'm not a thief! I'm not a merderer!... I am just an Iranian, a filmmaker. But how could I tell this, in what language?""
Panahi is in the news again; with reports of his pending release (again) from imprisonment in Iran, followed by denials of such reports, followed by tributes and declarations of solidarity within the filmmaking community (in Cannes, for example).
This magnum opus does not pretend to answer any questions about this plight of travel, but it does further raise the volume on the questions and the questing for humanity in an automatized society with a fetishistic lust for security and regimentation. It's beautiful; even in its jagged edges.