SOAS University of London

Mehraneh Atashi

12 Photographic Journeys - Iran in the 21st Century

15 October - 12 December 2003

Mehraneh Atashi illustrates events in a cafe in Tehran. These photos show another face of the 'clandestine life' of Iranians. The cafes are places where the opposite sexes meet, faces pressed against faces, talking in open intimacy, smoking cigarettes, in a warm atmosphere against lowlights and the flames of candles. Had it not been for the cover badly hanging from the head, one could be anywhere as the gestures, glances and attitudes reflect the sensibilities of today's youth.

One of the youngest woman photographers active today Mehraneh Atashi (born in 1980) works for a host of major newspapers, magazines and TV programs. Her photos search out the quest of the younger generation for privacy within public surroundings, sometimes punctuating them with moments of great intimacy. She does not try to resolve the contradictions, extracting great force from the ambiguities. She is a graduate of Fine Arts Faculty of Tehran University.