Amin Roshan

2012 Jikak's Crown

I Even Keep The Women's Safety

Protect Me From What I Want
Based on Jenny Holzer's Motto

Peace from the bottom of my art

Would you Like Something To Drink?

Throughout the Second World War and thereafter, Colonel ‘Jikak’, a British Intelligence Officer, played an important role in sustaining British interests in Iran. At the end of the Second World War he was an employee of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and for seven years he worked as a deaf and dumb shepherd in the Bakhtiari tribe; during this time, he became well-versed with the local dialect, culture and beliefs of the Bakhtiaris and it was believed by the ruling Iranian government of the day that the oil fields were truly under the control of Jikak.

Jikak utilised varying methods and techniques to exploit the beliefs of the people of southern Iran. One such method was the famous Jikak walking stick with which he performed wonders, where, for example, when he hit someone with his stick that person experienced a strange shock; Jikak claimed his walking stick was the best method to determine whether an individual was born in wedlock or not and in this way he had the potential to bring to ruins powerful and influential people in the Bakhtiari tribe.

Jikak strived to prevent the nationalisation of the Iranian oil industry. He encouraged the Bakhtiaris not to pay any attention to oil nationalisation and he endeavoured to undermine all efforts by the government-appointed group who were assigned with the task of seeing through the process of nationalisation. According to Hossein Maki (a Mossadegh representative): “At the time, when the government-appointed group travelled to Abadan, Jikak decided to incite a number of people to overthrow the visiting group’s car over the Bahman-Shir bridge and into the river but this plot proved not to be successful”. In the end, the Iranian government came to learn of Jikak’s disruptive activities in trying to prevent oil nationalisation and duly expelled him from Iran.

Jikak’s name is well-recognised by the people of southern Iran, a symbolic name associated with guile and cunning and today, individuals who are widely seen to share Jikak’s cunning characteristics are labelled ‘Jikak’ and whether they may know of him or not they say: “Such and such a person is very Jikak”.

In the ‘Jikak Crowns’ exhibition which was held in 2012, the artist utilised the same safety hats worn today by the National Iranian Oil Company’s workers, hats which are strongly connected to nationalisation and which his father obtained from the Oil Company’s old warehouses in southern Iran. These hats were produced in Great Britain and on the inside of some of these hats we can see markings or remnants related to those workers who wore the hats in days gone by.