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Fatemeh Behboudi February 27, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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Anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Death, Tehran 2011

Fatemeh  Behboudi (b.1985, Iran) studied photography and, after graduating in 2007 worked for several Iranian news services including the Iranian Quran News Agency (IQNA), student news agency Pana, Bornanews and Mehr (MNA) and the Fars News Agency. She has participated in severail exhibitions including the Angkor Photo Festival 2013, the Ashura Picture Exhibition 2012 and the Photo Festival Revolution and War 2012 Tehran. In the 2010 Doorbin.net symposium she won second prize in the documentary competition.

About the Photograph:

“June 4th is the death anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini, a time when many Iranians travel to Tehran from all over the country to mourn in the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini. The bodies of about 150 ‘unknown martyrs’ of Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) were found three years ago which were buried on the same day, the 4th of June. These women who are mourning in the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini for the soldiers bodies that are found after three decades. They are mainly their relatives, mothers, or sisters.”

“I believe in power of images over words; it means that images could be strong enough to take the words place, specifically for the purpose of showing the general atmosphere of a society. While taking this photo, I was thinking of the clergies position in governing and controlling life of many Iranian women. The dominance of clergies over women’s life could be traced in various aspects: in their personal life, work, studying, and religious believes. I have always been  interested in photographing religious women, as I believe that under their covers and within their multi-layered complex life there exists many stories waiting to be discovered.”

Javad Parsa February 6, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran, Turkey.
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Iranian refugees in Turkey, Ankara 2010

Javad Parsa (b. 1985, Iran) grew up in Iran, but had to flee in 2009 due to an arrest-order by the Iranian government after his images of the Iranian uprising that year were published abroad. He has since lived in Turkey and in 2010 has been living in Oslo and currently freelances for VG, one of Norway’s largest newspapers. In 2013 he was selected as a participant of the Joop Swart Masterclass organized by World Press Photo. His work has been published in numerous national and international publications including TIME magazine, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Le Figaro, Paris Match, The Guardian, 6Mois and Amnesty International.

About the Photograph:

“Every year large numbers of Iranians travel to Turkey. Of this group crossing the border there are people, who have  political, social, and religious views in conflict with Iran’s government policy. Many feel it necessary to apply to the UN for refugee status. Danika is nine years old and has been living in Turkey for the past two years. Davood and his wife and their two daughters have been living in Turkey as refugees for the last two years. Davood’s wife is from Philippines. They met in Japan and married in the Philippines. Davood was introduced to Christianity through his wife and converted from Islam to Christianity in Iran. His brother informed the authorities that Davood had changed his faith. He had to flee Iran for fear of being prosecuted. In this photo, Davood is getting ready for church where Iranian Christians get together once a week.”

Linda Dorigo November 12, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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Iranian Christian Community, Pataver, Iran 2011

Linda Dorigo (b. 1983, Italy) is a freelance photojournalist based in Beirut. She worked as a photo assistant in a fashion and advertising studio in Lisbon before returning to Italy, where she started working as journalist. She is mostly focused on the female world and its creative force, starting from Iranian managers to the old and new generation of Saharawi refugees, passing through the rights of Lebanese women. In 2010 she realized a short film “Safar- e sabz” — Green Journey — about the meaning of the color green for Iranian people. Her work has been published in Marie Claire Italy, East and Der Spiegel.

About the Photograph:

“I shot this picture inside an old cowshed that the Christian community of Pataver turned into a church. All of the community came to celebrate St. Marie’s day. The Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes religious freedom for Christians but they are in fact a hidden minority. I traveled through Iran living with people and friends, sleeping in churches, sharing their food and their fears. These people carry a strong faith — they dream of a world without borders, without political and religious impositions. I’m a man first of all, one of them told me in his home in Tehran — then, I can be Christian, Iranian or Muslim— all of us belong to the same God”.

“There is something special in their loneliness and spiritual detachment. You can feel the energy coming from nature which paints their honest dialogue with the divine. I gained their trust sitting in silent respect, invisible, becoming the person to whom they could confide hopes, gestures, illusions, prayers. One day a man who converted to Christianity sat in front of me: ‘Can I read you the Bible?” – he asked. He took off his glasses and opened the holy book hidden among the pots and pans in the kitchen. I was waiting to hear some passages, but he just said one word: ‘Eshq’ which means love.”

Sanna Sjöswärd November 5, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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Wedding Reception. Tehran, Iran

Sanna Sjöswärd (b.1973, Iran) has worked as a professional photographer since 2002. Sanna came to Sweden in 1977 after being adopted from Iran and grew up on Lidingö outside Stockholm. In 2006 she released her first project called Roots. In 2008 she released “Pastor & woman”. Her exhibitions include:  “Roots”  “Mary – The Dream Of The Woman” and “Priest & woman”. The first has also been shown at the Photographic Gallery in New York. She also works with on book projects and exhibitions. Her photographs are regularly published in many of Sweden’s largest newspapers and magazines and foreign newspapers such as Le Figaro, The Globe and Helsingin Sanomat. She has also written an autobiography entitled “My mother is a Persian Princess (Collins, 2009).

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from a project called Roots. It’s of my younger sister Maryam and her husband Mahdtis. In Iran parents  often decide who their daughters or sons will marry. This wasn’t the case with my sister. The party was in a large room in central Tehran, where family and friends attended. Because my family is very traditional men and woman celebrated in separate rooms.”

Paolo Woods January 4, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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Tehran, 2009

Paolo Woods (b.1970) grew up in Italy and is now based in Paris. In 2003, he produced the book Un Monde de Brut (Seuil. Paris) about oil that involved working in Angola, Russia, Kazakhstan, Texas and Iraq. In 2004 he produced the book American Chaos, about the western involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2007/2008 he documented the rise of the Chinese in Africa. The book Chinafrica written with Serge Michel was published in France and has been translated in ten languages. He is presently working on a book about Iranian society to be published in 2010. His work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, le Monde, Geo and many other international publications. He has had solo exhibitions in France, Italy, Spain, Holland and Austria. Paolo received a World Press Photo award for his work in Iraq,  the “Alstom prize for Journalism” and was part of Open Society’s Moving Walls exhibit.

About the Photograph:

“Maryam, 33, is a single mother and painter. She teaches art and art history at a high school in Tehran. All her students are girls aged fourteen to eighteen. Girls today are cleverer than in my generation, she says. They know what they want and they demand their rights. She lets her students remove their headscarves in class and pushes the boundaries of the Islamic dress code. In most classes, models have to wear a headscarf and manteau (a sort of house coat).  I let them pose in a t-shirt and trousers. I got in a bit of trouble for it. Pictured here with her mother, Maryam is part of a close family. I have six brothers and sisters.  When my father died my brothers took over his hardware store. We spend all our free time together at my mother’s house. It’s good but it can get claustrophobic. For her mother, family is the most important thing.”

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Ramin Talaie May 20, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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Drop in Center for Drug Addicts, Tehran, Iran

Ramin Talaie ( b. 1964, Iran) is a photographer based in New York City.  He holds a Master’s degree in international studies from Adelphi University. His work has been published in The New York Times, Bloomberg among other publications and is also syndicated with Corbis. Ramin is the founding editor of document IRAN Images.   He has covered the war in Iraq, the fall of Aristide in Haiti, polio in India, Maoists conflict in Nepal and Iranian elections and politics.

About the Photograph:

“While Afghanistan is the major producer of world opium, about 85% of its production is trafficked through Iran to Turkey and Eastern Europe and eventually all over the world. Traditionally smoking opium was the choice but since heroin is now cheaper than hashish it has become the drug of choice.  While in affluent northern Tehran, young adults drink illegal alcohol, in the poor sections of south Tehran, heroin is king. With injected drug use the risk of  TB and Hepatitis has sharply risen. Iran  also has a huge number of AIDS cases among its addicted population.  What is alarming is the rate of which new cases are found.  In recent years, a handful of private NGO began providing clean needles and food along with health educational materials at drop in centers. The photo was taken in one of these NGOs as addicts walk in for hot tea and bread and clean needles to start their day.”

Newsha Tavakolian August 25, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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“Coffeeshop in Iran” Tehran, 2007

Newsha  Tavakolian (b.1981, Iran) began working as professional photographer with the Iranian press at age 16! She started with the woman’s daily newspaper Zan, and later worked with nine reformist dailies, all since banned. Newsha began working internationally, covering Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in 2002. Her work has been published in Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Der Speigel & Le Monde 2. Awards include the NPPA & Missouri School of Journalism, 2003. She is represented by Polaris Images and is a founding member of EVE Photographers with five other women photojournalists. In addition, Newsha was a finalist for the Inge Morath award and chosen by World Press Photo organization with five other photographers, to attend the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2007.

About the Photograph:

“I went to a cafe, called a ‘Coffeeshop in Iran’. They don’t serve alcohol there and it’s mainly a meeting place for young people. The day before the government had decided that smoking in public places was deemed illegal. I wanted to focus on the two girls and the ventilator when this guy lighted his pipe. Iranian’s, mainly Tehrani’s often spend time in places like this where they can meet each other and smoke without their families seeing it.”

Olivia Arthur April 7, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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Fatima, Iran. From the Middle Distance Series

For the past two years British born photographer Olivia Arthur has been working on a project about women and the east-west cultural divide. The major part of her work is called ‘the middle-distance’ and documents the lives of young women living along the border between Europe and Asia. “Traveling in the region I also became very aware of the closeness of Iran to the issues I was following, and I later went and made a separate series there. I am now starting work on a new project about British-Asian women in London”. This work has been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, was selected for the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward 2007, a National Media Museum Bursary, and won the 2007 Inge Morath Award from Magnum Photos.

About the Photograph:

The picture was taken in a small community on the outskirts of Tehran. In the house four sisters live together. Three of them have epilepsy which prevents them from being able to work and two of them have been deserted by their husbands. The youngest sister works to look after the whole family, including her older sister’s three children. In the photograph is Fatima, one of the children, who had slipped away upstairs to say her midday prayers. The poster on the wall is of her uncle who is a wedding- DJ. He is married and doesn’t live with the rest of the family.

Lunatic Magazine: Inspirational work from Luna Photo Collective March 13, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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Lettres persanes, Tehran by Bruno Stevens

Wonderful presentation and visual sensitivity from the Luna photo collective in their second edition of Lunatic magazine. This issue includes several photo essays from other Luna members including Elizabeth Blanchet, Christophe Smets, Seth Butler, Celine Carnet and others. Outstanding work and presentation.

Wendy Marijnissen March 12, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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Iranian women in black chador and flowers during a ceremony for 65 martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war, whose bodies were recently discovered. Tehran, Iran 2007

Wendy Marijnissen is a Belgium freelance photographer specializing in music and theater photography. Drawn to the mid-east since 2003, Wendy has shot a number of photo- essay’s whose subjects range from a Palestinian circus school, mentally ill woman in Palestine, as well as ways in which Israelis and Palestinians are attempting to live in peacefully coexistence.

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