The wind has blown from the East

Global Leadership Human Impacts Institute, Manhattan New York, 2018

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, 2017

I really wanted to capture the symbiotic relationship that all humans have with nature. For Iranians a garden represents the very essence of life. Gardens like oasis and natural surroundings and species around it like sparrows have been a symbolic motif found in many folkloric stories and poetries in southwest Iran. Ahwaz, the city I born, is a dry region and gardening outdoors specially because of hot sand storms has been limited in that terrain and more found in the small indoor.

Desertification, war and industrial development affected our livelihoods and caused severe sand and dust storms affecting wide swathes of the province. Environmental awareness in world is raising but generally is still low but I hope I can take a small step to increase it with my art. I would like to inform my audience about the climate change crisis especially about the struggle of people, where I born, with dust and sand storms that forced tribes to massive immigration. Southwestern Iran especially Khuzestan province is bearing the brunt of dust storms that have increased in both frequency and intensity in recent years. While a majority of dust and sand storms originate beyond Iran’s borders—in Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia—domestic sources have grown in size due to a variety of factors, most of which are manmade. Since rain is rare it is also revered as life. The plant and sparrows are part of me-because it represents my familial bonds and childhood, however, it is also forever separated as well. I am hoping that my instillation can also touch the hearts of those who have felt displaced and shattered because of unwanted migration. Environmental awareness in Iran is generally low but I hope I can take a small step to increase it with these series.

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