With Iran as the focal point, a new photography exhibition, titled The Iran Issue, offers a glimpse into Iran, a world which is significantly different from what’s visible from the outside
The Iran Issue is a group photography show comprising images by 14 established and upcoming Iranian photographers, working within and outside Iran. The photographs first appeared in the photography quarterly, Pix, in September 2013, and showcase the reality of life in Iran, which differs from the outsider’s perception.
A death scene from the series By an Eye-Witness by Azadeh Akhlaghi
The show investigates notions of amnesia, censorship and identity, in staged as well as documentary formats. Rahaab Allana, editor, Pix, says, “The Iran Issue features works of 14 Iranian photographers who were selected through an open call for entries. The show is an artistic expression of how Iranians are living amidst censorship, and curtailed freedom of expression,” he says.
Afghan women learn how to make dolls at a workshop sponsored by Mercy, a Malaysian NGO from the series Life in War by Majid Saeedi
The photographs present an insider view of Iran, a side that’s different from the outside, but also personal. For example, in the series Memories of the Interior, photographer Arash Fesharaki used a sketch of a nude woman to highlight her innermost desires. “Most of these photos were banned from public exhibition,” says Tanvi Mishra, who visited Iran along with Allana to select the photographs for the show.
Then there’s Azadeh Akhlaghi’s By an Eye Witness series, where Akhlaghi staged 19 murders from the history of Iran.
“All these murders played a very important role in the history of the country, but there were no photos of them, so Akhlaghi recreated them all,” adds Mishra.
Alice in the Land of Iran by Babak Kazemi
The exhibition also includes two photo features by Irani photographers — Mahdieh Mirhabibi and Majid Saeedi — who left Iran to explore photojournalism in Somalia and Afghanistan respectively. “It’s very difficult to be a photojournalist in Iran, with the state watching over you all the time, which is why, we felt it was important to highlight the works of these two photojournalists,” add Allana.
Tempta-tions of Morning Sleep from the series Memoirs of the Interior by Arash Fesharaki
Till February 18, 11 am to 7 pm.
Max Mueller Bhavan, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda. Call 22027710