New Internationalist

Shadi Ghadirian

December 2004
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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

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 374 This column was published in the December 2004 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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This article was originally published in issue 374

New Internationalist Magazine issue 374
Issue 374

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