About me, nicknamed “crown-giver”

In a dusty decadence, forgotten and rusty crowned people portrait the lacklustre nightmare of a damp house for me. I search for a familiar sign in the strangeness of the faces. They want to get far away. Like these very same old brass crowns, they want to be a remote sign of what they have once been. The houses in Grape Garden Alley, the houses of dust. The aristocratic houses buried in the doll faces, dust covered memories, and suspicious looking.

Miss Beauties run to prove their merits and their unsuccessful effort is to win the lost rank of beauty and vanity. Life becomes a chair, it becomes a stare, it becomes staring at their whirling, and a sneer and a chortle that there is always one chair short for the best ones. There is always someone who fails in occupying the chair, and she falls apart.
In the real world, Miss Beauties appear on the stage to display their best in a predefined framework, in an imposed space, with a beaming smile, with a doll-like face devoid of their inner feelings. Individuality of these girls is castrated and the portrayal of the appearance is the sole element of their attraction.
The way Miss Beauties are chosen seems somehow similar to our childhood game. Whoever sits on the chair faster deserves the loftiest status. Regarding the hidden capabilities of every woman in the society to be a chosen one, and disregarding looks, culture, and even social class, meritorious Iranian girls and women can be witnessed easily in the city’s pavements and squares.

Tahmineh Monzavi

 

Photographs by Tahmineh Monzavi

 

Stress and Hope In Tehran

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Photographs by

Life savings evaporating overnight. International banks no longer accepting transfers, from companies or individuals. Google no longer available.

Any one of these developments would be considered a calamity in a Western country, but all three happened in Iran as the Obama administration increased sanctions after 2010, to pressure Tehran to curb its nuclear program.

Representatives for Iran, the United States and other world powers are currently scrambling to reach at least a framework for a deal by the end of this month that would place controls on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions. As the deadline approaches on Tuesday, Iranians from all walks of life are watching, many hoping for a new start.

A number of them, young and highly educated, say they want simply to rejoin the world, and look forward to leading a more “normal” life. Many insist that their government should retain its right under international law to enrich nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. But just about everyone, it seems, is ready to move on.

“Iranian youths have international mind-sets. From computer gadgets to smartphone applications — we need to pay in dollars but are paid in local money. It’s so hard to keep up.”

MOHAMMAD, 26, ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE

“My father is losing his eyesight. His medicine from the U.S. is not under sanctions, but importers can’t purchase it because of sanctions on international banking against us. Will he be able to see in the future?”

MITRA HAJJAR, 38, ACTRESS

“At least I hope that the banking sanctions will be lifted. People have no money. You will not believe the number of bounced checks I have to deal with.”

REZA, 59, PAPER IMPORTER

“Sanctions haven’t hurt me at all. The problem we have is not because of sanctions. It is mismanagement.”

MAYSAM, 35, STEEL TRADER

“I’m hopeful for the future. Iranians have become much smarter and more understanding. We know what is going on in the world.”

VAHID, 24, POET

“My salary is around the equivalent of $200. My monthly rent is $170. Don’t forget: We don’t make dollars, but rials, which have lost 300 percent in value. I’m waiting for a miracle.”

EHSAN, 28, CASHIER

“My son lives abroad. Every month I try to send him dollars, which have become three times more expensive. My dream is for all of this to end.”

SHAHAZ, 58, HOUSEWIFE

“During the past eight years, I lost my job three times because we had almost no customers at the travel agencies where I worked. Going abroad is now three times more expensive.”

ARTIKAS, 47, TRAVEL AGENT

“I’m just a doorman. Nothing will change for me, deal or no deal; my salary has always been low. Still, I hope people will have some peace of mind.”

ALI REZA CHESMI, 60, DOORMAN

Via NYTimes http://goo.gl/C1xhWw

Looking for G

by Kiarash Kiani

Guns N’Roses and Guns

When the governments use the veil (hejab) as a political tool, the artist uses a sexy weapon as the response to that sexist censorship.
Maybe my Moroccan models are not familiar to the misogynic politics; To me who comes from the Persian Golf, it’s this repression, which is established in the political and geopolitical sphere, that drives me to express myself in such a violent manner against the post modern autarchy these pseudo-democratic governments represent.
I myself come from these lands, where sometimes a human life costs less than the weapon aiming at it; for me, nudity is as a self escape from the obvious traits of Middle Eastern contemporary art.
I hate the veil (hejab), which is mandatory, the censorship, the compelled migrations, being the imposed guest, the endless difficulties in Paris. I hate it.

— Azade Avije

A Woman’s Face in the Crowd

exhibition by Mohammadreza Sharifzadeh

For Sharifzadeh, women in Iran are pioneers who embody the profound and gradual change in the current value system. Gradually coming out of oppression, they are adopting deconstructive modes of thinking and moving towards a return to the authentic. Using digital photography, painting and calligraphy, this series is a continuation of previous works that were censored when presented in Iran last year. These works show the images of women informing the social sphere of contemporary Iran and are continually being informed by it.

Mohammadreza Sharifzadeh was born in Tehran, Iran, where he continues to live and work today. In 2011, was awarded a PhD in Philosophy and Art for The Science and Research University, Tehran. His interdisciplinary education includes degrees in Graphics and Architecture, and he recently joined as a faculty member at the University of Art and Architecture, Tehran. He has had solo exhibitions in Tehran, Paris, Kiev and Frankfurt. 
He is also the recipient of major art awards in Iran. via myartguides

May god be with you my daughter

In light of economic crisis and ongoing political oppression, the current wave of immigration out of Iran is now greater than at any point in history. There are no official numbers, but many Iranians have already left or are seeking a way out. Some pursue escape without even considering its consequences.

‘May god be with you my daughter…’ is the story of my own migration through the lives of other Iranian teenage girls who have taken the same path that I took years ago.Parmida, Parastou, Melika and Soheila, all immigrated in middle of their teenage years. Parmida and Soheila started this journey along with their parents and families, Parastou and Melika moved away on their own. Facing the battle of fitting into the new culture of their adopted home, this story captures the transformation and liberation of these girls at the age of 17. With the adult personality shaping up, an insecurity and self-consciousness now replaces the carefree world that the girls had lived in so far.
This passage from girlhood into adulthood, with all the complications it entails, takes place within a new culture and environment. The girls on the edge between two worlds try to come to terms with this transitional time in their lives and adjust to the people they are becoming. (Iran, Australia, Canada and United States – 2010 to 2012)

—Kiana Hayeri