Farr Collective

LoS Salon

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What is a salon? A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate" ("aut delectare aut prodesse").

Why is FARR holding a salon? To express, to inspire; to teach, to learn. To engage, in person.

Format. The format of the salon will be a 15-20 minute presentations by experts, followed by an open discussion (debate, Q&A) for the remaining 45 minutes. 


Some topics we've covered in the Salon:

  • In June 2019, sociologist Neda Maghbouleh discussed her book The Limits of Whiteness, a book on the conceptualization of Iranian-American race.

  • In February 2019, artist and writer Gelare Khoshgozaran discussed her work-in-progress, 3005 Massachusetts, a cinematic meditation and research project that positions the abandoned building of the former Iranian embassy as its protagonist.

  • In May and October of 2018, we held a Salon where attendees each owned one or two issues/offices, and presented on what was at stake for the June California primary.

  • L.A. Times journalist Sarah Parvini shared her experience covering the San Bernardino attacks in November 2015. One of the first reporters on the scene, she told us what goes into gathering the initial information on a terrorist attack -- before you even know what you're looking for -- and what it's like to speak to family members and friends at their weakest moments. How do you keep your emotions at bay when covering tragedy? And how do you get people to open up to you? 

  • Journalist Shaya Tayefe Mohajer discussed her latest project--an article on Curbed that explored the Persian Palaces of Los Angeles, and what they mean for the definition of home.

  • Dr. Rook Campbell, adjunct professor of political science, communication, and diplomacy at the University of Southern California, as well as a former bike messenger and pro-cyclist in Europe, discussed the social, political, and economic consequences of sport integrity. From the lived level of athletes up to institutions like FIFA or the Olympics and even nations, our evening promises a sideways look to sport. 

  • Journalist Channing Joseph presented on his new book, "The House of Swann: Drag Queens, Runaway Slaves, and the Dawn of Gay Rights," exploring the lives of America's first gay activists--former slaves who courageously fought to build a proud and defiant community where none had ever existed before. A former writer at The New York Times and the Associated Press, Channing is now a faculty member at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. 

  • Three urban planners, Jessica Bremner, Richard France, and Tom Bassett, discussed how to rethink how we organize our cities and create urban areas that promote social structures grounded in equity. Using examples from Los Angeles and New York, they looked at how intentional decision-making has perpetuated systems that generate wealth unevenly and confer power unjustly.  

  • Sophia Nahli Allison is an experimental documentary filmmaker and Afro-futurist. She shared short clips of three of her projects: (1) personal project about the LA Riots which took place 25 years; (2) celebrations of blackness on social media through a series called Hashtag Revolution; and (3) a poetic reflection of another storyteller--her mother--and her struggle with illness, loss, and finding meaning. 

  • Residents in AD 51 gathered to meet with candidate Gabe Sandoval, who spoke to us about his experience growing up in the district and how his legal practice, which centers on championing equity and inclusive democracy for marginalized communities, made him the best choice to support viable policy reforms in Sacramento.  

  • Larry Cohen, founder of BuildTheFloor.org, and Angie Jean-Marie, held a moderated conversation about universal basic income (UBI). Angie and Larry defined UBI, discussed examples like Mincome in Manitoba, and helped us get a better understanding of how UBI can be applied to present society.