SOAS University of London

Omid Salehi

12 Photographic Journeys - Iran in the 21st Century

15 October - 12 December 2003

Omid Salehi relates the story of a 'living martyr', paralyzed and in a coma. The photographs begin like a screenplay with an empty wheelchair and end with the weeping eyes of a man reduced apparently to a vegetable life. In between one sees his parents affectionately around him, caring for him, washing him, combing his hair, like a child in a cradle. Salehi then takes on the billboards and paintings which cover the walls of the capital and tell conflicting stories. One of them shows an Islamic militant, who, almost angry, shouts slogans while women in 'chadors' indifferently do their shopping. In other photos there are women who move like shadows, black crows lost on a carpet and red arcades.

Born in 1972, Omid Salehi studied Graphic Arts in Iran. After graduation he worked for various Tehran dailies as well as a project for Iranian TV. He has won a number of first prizes for his photography. He searches the social and the extraordinary in the lives of the people in Iran. In the series presented here, he has found, says, the focus of all his efforts so far where the camera explores a tragic human condition within four walls of a house, portraying the pains as well as the dignity of a lower income family in Iran.