In a society like mine, there are always plenty of diverse options and approaches to thinking and acting, which inevitably contradict each other. Shortly after the Islamic Revolution (1979), it became mandatory for every woman to wear a hijab in public, a procedure challenged by many activists and remaining somewhat controversial even today. The collection that you see (I named it "The Smarties") includes photographs of Iranian girls that I met during my wanderings in Tehran. I was watching them and asked myself what influence color had on the formation of their identity. They represent the generation of the 1990s (and some 1980s). In my view, the Smarties are usually fighters, courageous and libertarian, who see their body as a clean sheet or a blank canvas on which any image can be created. Each of them can rivet my attention for hours. I watch them, I think about them, and I listen to their unique stories.
Series, 2nd place
Shiva was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1998. She says: "No one is born with this hair color, so I dye mine."
Aida was born in 1996, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "With colors I can find myself or in other words, I invent myself."
Azin was born in 1999, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "It's about the character that I create with each color. I am made of colors."
Hamta was born in 1994, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "Colors are interesting to me when they can change the nature of things."
Marzieh was born in 1997, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "For me, colors are power and energy."
Setareh was born in 1995, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "The world is colorful and so am I."
Marjan was born in 1995, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "I always change my identity whenever I begin to feel an inner emptiness."
Mahla was born in 1992, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "One day the thought occurred to Franz Marc: I must paint horses in the color blue."
Mahtab was born in 1988, in Tehran, Iran. She says: “I love colors, I love their transparency and the happiness which lives in it.”
Sahel was born in 1998, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "Red is the only color that lends the hand of friendship to me and makes peace with me and the other colors. Both playfulness and modesty live in red.”
Elnaz was born in 1997, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "Colors remind me that I'm alive."
Naghmeh was born in 1986, in Tehran, Iran. She says: "I fear being stereotyped so I take refuge in colors."