PORTRAIT OF IRAN
We wanted to capture a portrait of Iran and collaborated with contributing photographers to put together a photo journalistic diary of the locals and their culture
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Ashkan Forouzani
20 February 2021
Iran is one of those places we are used to perceive from a single dimensional point of view. It is a destination rarely considered as a desired stop for adventurers, however you might be surprised by what the country has to offer. One of the most unique and culturally immersive destinations, Iran is defeating many stereotypes, especially when it comes to local traditions and perceptions. We collaborated with talented photographers from our nomadic community to try and capture the essence of the locals. It was important for us to build a diverse digital journal of the locals that portrays the nation most accurately.
Considering the southwestern Asian location of the country and the culture there, Iran is often taught of as a place where men are given more diverse work opportunities than women do. However, the stereotypes we have been exposed to do not necessarily paint the picture with true colours. Iranian women are encouraged to explore their intellectual capabilities and this reflects when taking a look at statistics too. Over 70% of the jobs in science are taken by women. Entrepreneurs and activists are also taking centre stage and we feel excited to see what the future will bring for the female intellectuals of the country.
The Iranian culture is one of the oldest in the region and known to have influenced other countries such as Russia, Macedonia, the Arabian Peninsula and Greece to name a few. The locals respect their century-old traditions, which are passed on from a generation to a generation. The elderly usually introduce children to customs from an early age so that the legacy can be preserved in the family.
Iranians are polite and friendly, especially with tourists. If you travel to their homeland, you will likely receive a warm welcoming and will soon want to learn as much as possible about the history of country. Despite what we are made to believe, if you are a travel photographer you shouldn't expect from locals to be against tourists photographing them. As ling as you are nice and make sure to get permission, you shouldn't have problems finding Iranians who will smile for a quick portrait.
Iran is one of the most interesting countries on the continent with impressive history and fascinating culture. We should steer clear of any imposed stereotypes and start viewing the place from a fresh perspective. Consider it your next stop if you are up for the challenge.
Shout at all the travel writers!
We love reading your travel stories of people you encountered during your travels and places that made an impression on you. Have you visited Iran yet? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your adventure. We will publish our editors's pick of your travel diaries.