Artist Ala Ebtekar has the best of two worlds. He grew up in the USA after fleeing the Iran – Iraq war with his family, and has art diplomas from Stanford University. He has also spent time in Iran, studying the classical art of miniature painting.

What came out is a stunning and original perspective. Ebtekar’s works could only have been made by someone in his position as they combine a deep understanding of both Iranian and North American cultures. The kind of understanding that comes not just from studying another culture, but from living as a citizen of that culture.


One thing which can be hard for us mono-culturals to understand about third culture kids like Ebtekar is that rather than being half and half of any culture, they are both at once. For me this is what stands about Ebtekar’s work – it is a perfect example of exploiting this juxtaposition of cultures to create something new and original.

“It’s like having these multiple identities and being able to tap into this side of you and that side of you,” Ebtekar explains in this article from the San Francisco Bay Guardian. “They’re not clashing, you know what I mean. They’re rocking it full force.”


Read more about Ala Ebtekar (including the story behind these unique shoelaces) in this excellent interview from Fecal Face magazine.

Via Lalla Lydia. Images from Ala Ebtekar’s website.


About the author

Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.