TEHRAN –(Iranart) photo book collection of Afghan workers photoshopped against surreal landscapes by Bahman Kiarostami, son of the late film auteur and photographer Abbas Kiarostami, has recently been published.
A selection of the photos titled ‘Photo Riahi’, which is the name of the book as well, was on display at an exhibition at Dastan’s Basement Gallery in northern Tehran last week, Honaronline reported.
Born in Tehran, Bahman, 39, is a documentary film director who has spent some of the last five years in a village in Lavasan, in northeast of Tehran, for the construction of his home. The idea of the photo book came about when Rahman Atai, the supervisor of the Afghan workers constructing the building, announced one day that he was leaving work early for a photo shoot.
Bahman joined him and met a team of Afghan brothers who created portraits of workmen and used Photoshop to change the background and add their friends and family members. Meeting the artist brothers led to information about ‘Photo Riahi’, one of the oldest photography shops in Lavasan managed by the Riahi family, whose customers are mostly Afghan immigrant workers living there.
The pictures in the book, developed at ‘Photo Riahi’, show the culture and aesthetics of the people of Afghanistan. Apparently, the tendency to mix their photos with beautiful nature is due to the paucity (of such an environment) in their home country which for decades has been at war.
Their lives have always been accompanied by war, bloodshed and destruction, and the desire to put an image of themselves and family members and friends in front of a beautiful landscape shows their idealistic approach to a far-fetched dream.