b002 (by x a r i t o)
via velvet tangerine
“One day outside the Statistic and Registration Administration in Tehran, I discovered piles of discarded identity cards by the dustbins. They were all of women born in the early 1940s, who were photographed in their youth. The astonishing diversity of hair-dos – only a minority wore a scarf or chador – reflected the variety of choices that women had in the late 1950s and 60s. The ID cards also represented the many different classes and personalities of women of the time, from shy and demure to upfront, confident and glamorous.
When I found these pictures, sometime in 2005, I wondered whether these women had died, never renewed their identity or emigrated. It seemed to me that the government was most probably erasing evidence of our recent and distant past, for these photographs oppose the current dominant culture. I was shocked that these records of our community could be discarded so easily, without remorse. Photography is more about discovering than creating. Being a finder is the dominant, innate state. In Irandokht I have tried to stitch together another aspect of our history, one that is not about throwing away, ignorance and corruption. To me, discarding history reflects the intolerance and negligence of institutions in power. The Irandokht series invites the audience to face a certain period without any judgment. These women lived in Iran, and I feel I am in some way reviving and preserving their memory.”