PROJECTS

Under the Shadow of the Tower

  
Tehran; a huge city, a metropolis, 617 square kilometers and 15 millions population. I have lived in this city for more than 30 years. How fast the city has changed and how fast it is still changing. I remember the days with no highways, no high-rises, no towers, no traffic and less population. Now, life is so fast-paced in Tehran. So fast, that we forget ourselves, our environment, our city and its changes.  
The city changes. Permanently, something is added to it or removed from it. Our image from the city is formed through the interaction between our accumulated mental memories and the process of permanent changes. The changes sediment gradually into our general historic image of the city, fuse into our urban daily life and then it seems as if they have always been there. We don’t notice them any longer.
Recently, where ever I go in this city, where ever I stand, where ever I look, I notice Milad Tower. This lofty static concrete structure has come as a new city symbol to define a different identity for Tehran. As if, it has come to manipulate our visual memories of this city, to conquer the city with its static shadow-casting presence and becoming the incontestable permanent panoptic observer of our lives. It seems it functions as a guardian. But guardian of what? Of people who are not noticing it anymore? Of deserted empty places and ruins? For me, the tower is a symbol of a culture that is growing so fast in Iran; culture of a minority wealthy social class which is boasting its masculinity, modernity, wealth and power. Like the tower that has no roots in Iranian architecture and tradition, the culture they are boasting is aborted; their masculinity is sterile, their modernity is a fake modernization, their wealth and power is a windfall. There is a huge contrast between the fast-paced growing minority wealthy social class and the mass population of the city which are swallowed by daily urban life.
I ask myself many times Why Milad Tower is there? What is it representing? What is it defining? Is it Tehran that defines the tower or it is the Milad Tower trying to create a new identity for the city? The challenge is over and the tower has sedimented in the city. It is there observing the city under its shadow.
 
Kaveh Sojoodi, 2015
 
  
  1. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  2. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  3. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  4. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  5. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  6. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  7. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  8. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  9. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  10. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  11. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  12. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  13. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
  14. Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Under the Shadow of the Tower
    Tehran, 2015
©Kaveh Sojoodi, 2015

The Despair

I am 32. I belong to the generation that was born in early years after Islamic Revolution of Iran. The generation that still after more than 30 years is seeking its identity. We feel fragmentation and disconnection in every aspect of our life. We were born in war. 8 years of our childhood when we should run and play was wasted tracking Iraqi missiles in the sky. Our only friends were plastic red balls to play soccer in the streets. When we were teenagers, it was the campaign against so-called Western cultural plague, days full of fear and anxiety, when we got captured in the streets without any reason or even got beaten for wearing a Metallica cap or Michael Jackson t-shirt. When we were young, we voted for reformation enthusiastically. We shouted our fears and all of our youth energy for reformation in the streets. The excited days of election passed and then gradually this energy was repressed and receded. We achieved nothing. We just found out that the political games of power in Iran is very complicated and hard to understand. Days were passed colorless and spiritless and we became older. The best days of our youth, when it was our time to flourish, was the era of sanctions, economic recession and unemployment; 8 years of hopelessness and demolition, 8 years of repression and suffocation, 8 years of cultural, social and economic collapse. 2009 conflicts was like a hammer mashed on our head. We became weaker and smaller.
Today, after more than 30 years, this generation is still seeking its status. We don’t know where we stand. We just live hopelessly, without any goal. The future for us is ambiguous and foggy. This generation has the highest rate of divorce, separation, addiction, suicide, unemployment, immigration and depression. We are now a sedimented pile of violence, fear, anxiety, love and failure.
This portrait series aim to present part of this sedimentation. 
 
Kaveh Sojoodi, 2015
 
  1. The Despair
    The Despair
    Tehran, 2015
  2. The Despair
    The Despair
    Tehran, 2015
  3. The Despair
    The Despair
    Tehran, 2015
  4. The Despair
    The Despair
    Tehran, 2015
  5. The Despair
    The Despair
    Tehran, 2015
  6. The Despair
    The Despair
    Tehran, 2015
  7. The Despair
    The Despair
    Tehran, 2015
  8. The Despair
    The Despair
    Tehran, 2015
©Kaveh Sojoodi, 2015