What if ignorance is replaced by misconceptions?
What do we know, for instance, of how it might be for a woman to live in contemporary Iran? For all the Iranians I come in contact with on a daily basis in Los Angeles, I know nothing of the land they left. I buy saffron and eat kebabs at the stores and restaurants that dot Westwood Boulevard, and I accept their gracious hospitality, but there is little I know, nothing tangible, about contemporary Iran, beyond nuclear arms deals.
These thoughts were rushing through my mind as I admired the photographs of contemporary Iran by Iranian photographers currently on view at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. The exhibition, “Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video” opened a small curtain, gave me a tiny peek. The images feel mysterious, foreign but, especially the ones by women, also convey a sense of community and struggle that women all over are familiar with. The struggles and the communities might be different but the female lens we use is the same everywhere.
Top image: Love – Omid Sariri Ajili