Sanaz Mazinani’s colour diptychs and marquee photographs explore the physical landscape and human faces of contemporary Iran, her country of origin. Each image contains its own narrative qualities and together they create a complex portrait of the country. The recent history of Iran familiar to most outsiders begins with the Islamic Revolution, followed by the resulting social restrictions successive leaders have imposed on the country. This aspect of history is incomplete and offers only a narrow view of Iranian culture.
2009 marks the 30-year anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Today more than half of Iran’s population is under the age of 25, and many among this new generation of Iranians are pushing against boundaries. Some fight against the clergy to hold on to their more liberal family traditions, while others fight against Western popular culture as they struggle to find their own identities. The photographs in this series give us a privileged glimpse of the everyday life in modern Iran. From painted portraits of young martyrs slowly peeling from the exterior walls of mosques, to a still life of the architectural remnants of the Persian Empire, these photographs depict the different ideologies that overlap in Iran’s contemporary landscape.