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01/29/09

Exploring the Other: Contemporary Iran


A photography exhibition by Iason Athanasiadis to foster a deeper understanding by American public on contemporary Iran

SoCiArts Productions co-produces the upcoming exhibition of Exploring the Other: Contemporary Iran Through the lens of Iason Athanasiadis as the community partner of CAFAM. The exhibition is scheduled for January 25 through March 29, 2009.


 

'Exploring the Other: Contemporary Iran,' at the Craft and Folk Art Museum
Los Angeles Times

Journalist and photographer Iason Athanasiadis has set out to alter how Westerners perceive Iran with his photo exhibition "Exploring the Other: Contemporary Iran"

"I wanted to use this opportunity to show how varied Iran is -- what it's really like," said Athanasiadis. "A lot of people don't know that Iran is the birthplace of the most lenient form of Islam."

As the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution approaches, Exploring the Other offers an alternative narrative of the country famously included in the Axis of Evil by President George W. Bush. Through the vivid photography of international photojournalist Iason Athanasiadis, visitors will experience an Iran rarely seen in Western media: a land of paradox in its landscape, sacred rituals, and social customs. Iran's numerous contradictions are revealed in stunning color and black and white photography: the snow-capped Elburz mountains; the vast Kavir Desert; traditional Islamic wedding rituals; a Tehran designers first fashion show. Due to the post-revolution baby boom-today, nearly 70% of Iran's population is under 30-Iran's social fabric has become a mosaic of old and new as traditional culture is reinterpreted by a generation that is both enamored with global pop culture and passionate about its ancient Persian roots.

By approaching Iran from aesthetic and social viewpoints, Exploring the Other takes the focus off Iran's politicians and realigns it squarely on the country and its people. Athanasiadis photographs challenge the conventional media narrative told about Iran and challenges visitors to question how media information is presented (and filtered).
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. For more information about this program, please visit: www.sociarts.com/exploringtheother



Iason Athanasiadis Bio:
Writer, photographer and television producer, Iason Athanasiadis has been covering the Middle East, Central Asia and the southeast Mediterranean since 1999. He earned degrees in Arabic and Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford University (BA) as well as Persian and Contemporary Iranian Studies at Tehran's School of International Studies (MA).

Athanasiadis lived in Iran from 2004-2007, covering conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Lebanon for the international media including the Times, the Christian Science Monitor, American Prospect, British Journalism Review and the South China Morning Post. He covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq from Qatar for al-Jazeera, the 2004 Athens Olympics for BBC World and the 2006 Israeli-Hizbullah war in Lebanon as a freelancer. At the same time, his photography has been featured in solo exhibitions in Germany, Greece and Iran, and his work published in Der Spiegel and the Los Angeles Times, among other newspapers and magazines.

A native of Greece, Athanasiadis is currently a Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is an Aristotle Onassis Foundation scholar.
 

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- Amazing Iran: Portraits - by Iason Athanasiadis

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- Amazing Iran - by Iason Athanasiadis

- Iason Athanasiadis photos at Tehran's Artists Forum - by Syma Sayyah

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