New Internationalist

Shadi Ghadirian

Issue 374

I am a woman and I live in Iran. I am a photographer and this is the only thing I know how to do. I began work after completing my studies. Quite by accident, the subjects of my first two series were ‘women’. However, every time I think about a new series, in a way it still relates to women.

Perhaps the only idea outsiders have of Iranian women is a black chador. I try to portray all our aspects. And this completely depends on my own situation. When I did this series of photographs, I had just graduated. The duality of life at that time provided the motive: one cannot say to what time the woman belongs; a photograph from two eras; a woman who is dazed; a woman who is not connected to the objects in her possession.

After marriage it was natural that vacuum cleaners and pots and pans found their way into my photographs; a woman with a different look; a woman who, no matter in what part of the world she is living, still has these kinds of apprehensions. At this moment a woman is consigned to a daily repetitive routine. For this reason I named the series Like Every Day.

Now I know what I wish to say with my photographs. Many of them have shown women as second-class citizens or the censorship of women. I wish to continue speaking about women because I still have a lot to say. These are my words as a woman and the words of all the other women who live in Iran, where being a woman imposes its own unique system. The photographs are not authentic documentation. I take them in my studio, but they deal with current social issues all the same.

Shadi Ghadirian, Iran. Drik Picture Library

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