Modeling by Sara
We hope even in a house with the window blocked.
We move even on aimless stairs.
The wind blows in our hair even if we are buried under the ruins.
We dance even if nobody watches us.
We fly even if the blue sky is under the ground.
Our injured heart is white even with a black cover.
We are beautiful even in a broken frame that we are stuck there.
We are free even if we are surrounded between heaven and land.
In the history of the Middle-East, women are forced to cover their bodies because of culture, religion and government rules. Even though women must cover their body they have refused to cover their beauty and their vitality. Even with the pressures from war, their fight perseveres. Women fight for their place in society with elegance, strength, and beauty. In Iran, after the Hijab legislation passed, many young girls maintained their dreams, and their inner beauty is portrayed even with the ruling that they must be covered. Consequently, beauty is something noticed, and Iranian women have proven this fact despite their minimal freedom.
Middle of Black East is a symbolic series meant to show the contrast between the internal and external realms of a young Iranian woman. Sara, who represents a modern Iranian woman, is staged on many old or destroyed locations to make comparisons between these environments and her beauty, which includes her face, body, and the emotions these can convey, and the beautiful energy that dominates the space. In some photographs, Sara wears a black veil and is located in the ruins, but in other images, montage photos show her imagining freedom. She wears a black short dress to represent the contrast between two different aspects of her life.
I represent her dreams and her internal beauty through a series of surreal, digitally constructed photographs. Although the environment between real and dream photos are different, they have been created in the same visual locations and use similar color palettes, visual elements, and composition for achieving this narrative. The old, destroyed, and historical locations in Iran convey cultural, religious and government rules that inhibit the freedoms of women, who are usually considered second-class citizens in the society of many middle eastern cultures. In recent years, many countries in the Middle-East have tried to cover women’s bodies because beauty is a kind of power in the world. But I believe they cannot succeed, and the world needs to know about Iranian women who try to dominate ugliness with their beauty.