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PRIVATE 58 | IRAN today

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A city, a land, a world

The collection of photos you can see here covers a broad spectrum of tastes, concerns and outlooks, which may at first sight seem irrelevant. Yet, sorting and carefully comparing the pictures will reveal a common perspective shared between the photographers of these collections. Perhaps a short introduction to Iran’s History, Geography and Social situation will help the viewer better relate to the collections: the name Iran means the land of the Aryans and the country is officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Located on the South-western corner of Asia and in the Middle East with a surface of 1.648.195 square meters,  it is the 18th largest country in the world. In 2011 the country had a population of 76 million. The capital and largest city, as well as political centre of Iran, is Tehran.

Iran is bounded by Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkmenistan in the North, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the East and Turkey and Iraq in the West, while in the South the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman serve as boundaries. In the North the Caspian Sea has its shores. Both of these shorelines are among the most important natural oil and gas reservoirs in the world. In 1979 the country was transformed from a constitutional Monarchy into an Islamic Republic by the Islamic Revolution.
The national religion is Islam and Farsi is the official language. The nuclear program and the international sanctions in response to it, as well as the difficult situation of the political climate in the aftermath of the 2011 presidential elections, have put the country in a special – and quite distressful – state. However this year’s presidential elections (in June 2013) and the coming to power of the new president with his slogan of “Prudence and Hope”, have calmed the political and social climate, and the country is experiencing improvement in its general situation. Still the Iranian society is learning from its experiences and struggling with many a problem.
These social and political happenings, the rich and proud history and the wide and varied geography of the country and the variety of viewpoints and perspectives seem natural, and it is exactly this effect that makes the work of the photographers here, with all their variety and similarities so intriguing […]

Without doubt, Iran’s new foothold in a changed political and social situation will make sure that we will soon enough see photographs with a wholly different air and feeling […]
(by Behzad Nejadghanbar)

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