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Linda Dorigo November 12, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.

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.”

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