SOAS University of London

Arshia Kiani

12 Photographic Journeys - Iran in the 21st Century

15 October - 12 December 2003

Arshia Kiani presents a plastic representation of scenes from 'Ashoura' ceremonies. These are collective acts of mourning which have the mystical dimension of Redemption: men, semi-naked, are absorbed in sorrow, beating themselves, lost in ecstasy. A handsome young man with a hand on his heart, his gaze searching out the miraculous beyond, suggests a Renaissance painting.


Born in 1972 Arshia Kiani graduated from Tehran University in Medical Studies. Between 1999 and 2003 he has worked as a photographer with both Iranian and foreign journals and magazines. The emotions and passions of 'Ashoura' have rarely been portrayed with greater force.