One day while I was taking photos in Shiraz's old neighborhood near the bazaar where century-old houses were falling into ruin I saw some beautiful writing on a wall which said "don't know".
I took a picture of the wall. As I was editing the photo and looking again at the writing it made me wonder about the person who wrote it? Did he or she write the words in a good mood or were they in a philosophical state of mind?
Rumi, the great Persian poet and philosopher wrote that "I" is a euphoric state — "What I know, what I know”. This "I" is what I think about when I take photos — it has become my overall concept for the Shiraz Street Photos series.
These old neighborhoods serve as my photo workshop, the walls are my interior design and I carry my studio on my back. The subjects of these portraits stand in front of walls scrawled with text — text full of sadness, happiness, pleasure, love, but also full of hope for life.
Apart from text, these walls incorporate other elements such as telephone and electrical cables, heater vents, and cracks, which make this environment even more attractive to me. These people represent the "don't know" text on the walls. One can view them from an anthropological perspective — the geographic sections of the city of Shiraz become the backdrops for its’ inhabitants. In all of the photos the subjects look somewhat surreal.
- KAMRAN HEIDARI
(ENDJAVI-BARBÉ ART PROJECTS)