Post Your Map :: Tehran Without Distractions

We will regularly be presenting a featured artist, writer or performer who is exploring questions of identity and personal narrative through their medium of expression.

The map is your representation. No rigid lines, no defined routes. You direct it on your own account.

Artist: Sara Jazaeri
Title: Tehran Without Distractions
Artist’s Description:

I come from the Middle East, that strange land on which, as the myth would have it, mankind marked its being, founded the very first settlements, towns and cities. The monotheistic religions roused and conquered the man, his life and imagination. Our history is full of ups and downs but never quiet. Calm and stability are strange and sometimes unknown states around here.

I am from Persia, Iran, one of the oldest countries, more ancient than history itself. My childhood memories are full of vague images, which changed the destiny of my generation, and many more to come. Images of rallies and demonstrations have marked my memory till the eternity. Concepts such as martial law, nightly chants of Allah-o-Akbar, bombardments, elections, riots, and executions have shaped my personality. Political discussions in family gatherings, predictions that never came true, and longing for freedom taught me how to dream. Long line-ups to receive rationed food and petroleum educated me better than any university.

One year after leaving Iran my fellow citizens whom I left behind finally started to ask for their rights. They started to fight again for the lost dreams of our parents. I was not able to join them on the frontline. All I could do was to hope and reconstruct my lost dreams. All I could see were blurry images of a city I once cherished and left behind. My Tehran is submerged in an ocean of dreams.

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Sara Jazaeri is a Toronto-based freelance photographer. She has a Masters of Architecture from Tehran Azad University. As a photographer she has traveled in Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to document the traces of disaster, war and conflict and to understand how catastrophe, repression and social pressure bring people together and create humanitarian subcultures. She has worked closely as a documentary photographer with organizations such as WFP and UNISEF after the Bam earthquake in 2003.