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Abandoned salina

Shower cabin on the shores of Lake Urmia.

Abandoned salina, photo essay by Parinaz Chelengeri


Lake Urmia, located in northwest of Iran between the provinces of East and West Azarbaijan, is now the most saline lake in the world. Unfortunately, in recent years the lake has been drying up due to lack of proper management of water consumption, as well as due to climate change.

With the drying of the lake, vast salty dry lands have been formed, which are causing a great humanitarian and environmental disaster. Salt storms, resulting from these dry salty lands have caused the permanent migration of birds and death of some animals, and threaten the gardens and agricultural fields of a large part of the region with destruction. With the continuation of this trend and the spread of some diseases, including cardiovascular, respiratory and pulmonary diseases, the region will be completely uninhabited in the near future.

Vessels stuck on the ground, beaches, abandoned docks, and small and large objects left by tourists are all reminders of the time that the lake had water and life was in progress.

The taxidermy models of the birds that the lake used to be their natural habitat for about half of the year are kept in the environment park now, and these are perhaps the most bitter examples remained from the lake.

As an Azerbaijani, I was always worried about hearing the news about the drying out of the lake, and my information about this matter was limited to what I had heard and the contents of newspapers and related web sites. By seeing a lake of salty and dry lands when I had a trip to this region, I discovered the depth of the disaster, and I became determined to start my first photography experience by portraying a piece of this environmental catastrophe. The objects and places build by people and abandoned now, caught my eye more than anything else. Remained and deserted things that will soon be covered with salt as well.

(by Parinaz Chelengeri)


The remains of a birds skeleton in dried Lake Urmia.

A wooden recreation wharf near the kalantari bridge.

The watering area of the tankers in Rahmanlu port.

A view of Rahmanlu port.

A view of Rahmanlu port

The ruined plage of Lake Urmia.

A coastal of sherefkhaneh port.

The wall of an inn in sherefkhaneh port.

The shore of sharefkhaneh port.

A plastic bottle in the dried up Lake Urmia.

Dried flamingos stored in Tabriz environmental protection agency.

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