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Paolo Woods January 4, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.

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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