Sunday, February 01, 2009

Different Iran through the lens of Greek photographer

Sanandaj Museum, Iran

MNA - An interesting example of those artists who have long dedicated their time and professional careers to the exploration of misunderstood countries is Iason Athanasiadis, Greek photographer and journalist, whose photographs and images will be displayed at an international photography exhibition to be held in the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) in Los Angeles.
So far, Iason has journeyed all over the world to cover Afghanistan, Armenia, Cuba, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran, all of which are considered as countries with a profound cultural and historical heritage and yet are portrayed with a false and unrealistic image in the Western mass media.

Athanasiadis is a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and has published articles and pictorial reports in the Guardian, Christian Science Monitor and the Financial Times.

In his photos of Iran, Athanasiadis offers a fair and balanced view of Iran that includes views of unnoticed natural landscapes, anthropological subjects, historical sites and hallmarks of Persian architecture, which are rarely shown in the Western media.

In an email interview with Tehran Times, CAFAM Exhibitions and Gallery Manager Sonja Cendak announced that “Exploring the Other: Contemporary Iran” exhibition will be held from January 25th to March 29th with the aim of giving a realistic, alternative view of Iran by showcasing pictures and photos that American citizens might not have seen so far.

“This exhibit is a photographic view into the culture of Iran, which we really know so little about,” Cendak said.

“This show will reveal the human side of the Iranian population whose daily lives are not so different from our own and also examine the role that photojournalism and conventional media play in shaping our public opinion,” She added.

Explaining the details of exhibition, Cendak noted, “This exhibit features Athanasiadis’ vivid photographs that capture scenes of contemporary Iran rarely seen in Western media including its diverse landscapes of mountains, deserts, sub-tropics, and most significantly, the thriving post-revolutionary youth culture.”

“‘Exploring the Other’ will be supported by a wealth of educational programming including lectures, book and poetry readings, film screenings, musical performances, and workshops—designed to provide visitors with a meaningful and more complete understanding of Iran,” she explained.

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