Shortlisted for Author Book Award, Les Rencontres d'Arles 2016
Shortlisted for the 2016 British Book Design and Production Awards
Selected as one of the Best Photobooks of 2016 by 10x10 Photobooks Team, Gabriela Cendoya, Larissa Leclair, Laura El-Tantawy, Humble Arts Foundation, Thomad Wiegand, Carolyn Drake, Yumi Goto
When you die Amak you will go to hell and you will be hanged with your hair strand over a very big fire for all eternity because you didn't hide it from the eyes of strangers in your lifetime” I am Iranian.
I was born in 1980, the same year as the Islamic Revolution. I learned how to wear my scarf when I was seven years old. I still remember putting it on for the first time, getting ready for my first day at school. It was me, my mother and a mirror. Two years later my Religious teacher stopped me in the corridor for letting my hair show. She told me to cover my hair completely. She said “When you die, Amak, you will go to hell and you will be hanged with your hair strand over a very big fire for all eternity because you didn’t hide it from the eyes of strangers in your lifetime”.
Six years ago, I was waiting in a reception room, holding the birth certificates of my mother and me. We looked similar in our ID photographs. That same day my fingerprint was fixed next to my image, and my mother’s fingerprint next to her image. Despite the outward similarity of the images the fingerprints were different; the scar I had on my finger became part of my identity next to my photograph. I decided this meant something, that our identities were entwined with these official identities, with these prints and these papers. In the following three years, I collected similar images and fingerprints from different women in Iran. Each was different from the other, and had a story to tell.