This digital exhibition of paintings by Ali Roustaeeyanfard addresses this year’s theme of 'Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures'. Heritage Futures are about the roles of heritage in managing the relations between present and future societies. Perceptions of the future are just as complex and diverse as those of the past.

Curated by Leila Papoli-Yazdi as part of World Heritage Day 2021 - officially known as the International Day for Monuments and Sites. "The artist Ali Roustaeeyanfard in his eight paintings of Balloon head collection has tried to revive the forgotten diversity of one of the most important contemporary historical events of Western Asia", says  Leila Papoli-Yazdi.

علی روستائیان فرد

The exhibition is hosted by the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures.

Focusing on Iran’s Mashrouteh (Constitutional) Revolution, Ali Roustaeeyanfard’s paintings reconfigure historical photographs of complex historic events and processes at the beginning of the 20th century. By adding colorful anachronistic details to the original motifs of the photographs his work depicts unimagined futures and the need to re-narrate the past in every present. The paintings illustrate that there are unexpected and diverse futures, both of the past and of the tangible heritage that reminds us of the past in the present. Roustaeeyanfard’s hope is to revive the forgotten heritage and history of voiceless people in order to fulfill their original dream of achieving freedom and progress through the Revolution.

A virtual display of this exhibition is available at