I have been returning to Iran in an attempt to grasp the social and political realities of my birthplace. Over the past five years I found a society marked by conflicting ideologies. I travel from the capital to the rural lands, in search of a balance in my visual narrative. However, the more I traveled, the less balance I found. Then came the controversial election fraud that shook the Iranian nation. I witnessed brutality, injustice, the censorship of human rights, and in its shadow the power of the masses, reaching for freedom. I was surrounded by a swarm of arms raised skyward's, swaying arms that could carry one away. I was surrounded by hands clenched in tight fists pumping in the air, hands holding peace signs and camera phones.
The masses raised their arms believing that change was within their grasp, and they reached out to Iran, to the West and the rest of the world. I marched along with the swarm of demonstrators and I became one of them. I was no longer able to maintain certain impartiality as a photographer trailing his subject. Instead, I kept stride as we walked side by side and by doing so I inadvertently became an outlaw in my own country.
Filled with hope, chanting for change, people poured into the streets only to be met by violence. Swept into crowds of protest, I found myself documenting social upheaval.
As a result of my actions, I was forced to leave my motherland permanently.
Arriving back in Montreal, I was left with the dissolute impression that all my hard work for my master's degree had been in vain, five years of research lost to the wind. However, circling back to my experience and research, I realized I had in hand a unique document that shed light on conflicting ideologies and the overt impact of religion on the reality of everyday life in Iran. Sensing the need to create a visual position in defense of a nation without a voice and a critical look into a country that has been closed to the world for over three decades, I would like to present this visual narrative of Iran:
Landscape Revolution People