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mobile photography, instagram photography



How Iranians see their homeland?

The first Instagram project ever done on Iran reveals a new identity of the country by the direct evnolvment of more than 1.000 Iranian instagramers who have produced over 33.000 pictures on the theme.

An editorial project about Iran today, made with the contributes of the Iranian Instagramers to show the life in an ancient country, today in search for its future, between modernity and traditions.

“Iran, one of those countries that we know very little about, possesses incredible photographic talent that has found a way of expressing itself with smartphones and shares its vision with hundreds of thousands of people on Instagram. ”

They are mostly young people, college students, some of them are photographers or want to be, others are involved in social issues They organize themselves in photographic groups and do projects on Instagram, later shown on photographic exhibitions. They are popular in the Instagram community that caters for a certain authorial photography. Some of them have hundreds of thousands of followers. We want to show the face of a different Iran. Not the one shown by outside experts or media, giving their own iconographic interpretation of the country. Not the one shown by a single photographer hand-picked by media as the professional "witness" to tell a story that does not belong to him, published in a magazine and cleverly packaged to meet its editorial policy.

We want to show Iran that way it is seen by Iranians, narrated through their photographic talent. So, inviting the large number of Iranian followers of our Instagram page, we launched a hashtag, # 1415IRAN, open for six months, and collected over 33.000 images of more than 1000 Instagramers, reflecting an incredible visual wealth and providing eye-witness accounts of life, tastes, habits, entertainment of people in Iran, and also of their work, traditions, healthcare, women, family, modernity, country life, religion, street life.

Even after the deadline closed in August 2016, new images were coming in every day, a sign of the productivity of Iranian mobile photographers and their desire to establish relations with the outside world - real or virtual relationships, seeking professional opportunities, a way of belonging to a wider world despite not being able to leave their country.

The publication of a book involves a drastic selection of images, reducing the number of 33.000 to between 60 and 80 photographs. A mass of precious material will lost in the Instagram sea. Somehow this is a waste, dissipating a richness and a knowledge available for everyone. That’s why we want to open a permanent observatory, a website as an open window on the imagery produced daily in Iran. But this will be the second step. At the moment we are concentrating just on the book as it can be the first place to preserve at least part of this collective richness of imagery. It can also contribute to a better understanding of Iran and in doing so, eliminate a series of clichés.

We asked Iranian Instagramers to shoot the following themes:


Street life in general, markets, public transport, public places, meeting places, street habits, street artists, chaotic life, bars, protests, nuclear issues, animals in the street



Family traditions, family habits, breakfast, lunch, dinner, watching television, reading at home, sleeping at home, portraits of household items, family group portraits, interiors of houses, furniture and details, habits of the family out of the house, major events for the family, family reunions, family weekend, images of families in public places



Religious ceremonies, people praying, religious figures, places of worship, people make ablutions, utensils and vestments, symbols and religious icons, religious products stores, faithful, everything that turns around religion



Traditional events and celebrations, traditional costumes, weddings, funerals, holidays, traditional shops, traditional restaurants, traditional habits, traditional food



Bars, restaurants, entertainment and leisure, sports, at home with friends, nightlife, discos and dancing, parties with friends, let's have a cocktail, technology, innovation, commercial centers, signs of change, people using Western products, technological habits, people using smartphones and tablet and computers, technological places, fast food, saturday night, movie theatres, any fun and leisure activity, city public services, hospitals, technological sites, technological plants, power plants, clean energy, renewable energy, solar panels, high voltage pylons, wind turbines, dams, industrial plants, academics, chemistry labs, science laboratories in general, experimentation



Every type of work, day works, night works, working at home, working in the street, working in the countryside, agriculture and farming, working with animals and sheep-farming, places that provide works, offices, services, construction workers, traditional jobs, new types of jobs, high productive jobs, unproductive jobs, no work, poor, rich, middle class, working youth, elderly retired, job offers, child labor, cooking and chefs in restaurants, working in a hospital, doctors, working in the street



Modern architecture, religious architecture, traditional architecture, architecture of public spaces, residential areas, homogenous neighborhoods, non homogenous neighborhoods, new neighborhoods, old neighborhoods, new suburbs, expansion of cities, streets and highways, urban viability, bridges, countryside landscapes, city landscapes, skylines, general view of places and cities



Students, schools of every kind and degree, college, universities, training courses, people who study, people who listen to a lesson, people reading, people writing, sports, libraries, conferences, seminars, art, art galleries, art exhibitions, artist studios, working artists, art schools, religious schools, studying at home, libraries, new and old bookstores, collectors of old books.

Book Details

Introduction © Irene Alison

Text © Mohammad Tolouei

Format: 16,8 x 24 cm

Pages: 144

Pictures: 89 (color and b&w)

Price: € 25,00

ISBN - 978-88-94916-08-9

Published by 14&15

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