Iran News ...


11/09/09

Support the photographers and the artistic programs at the Omid Foundation, where dreams become reality


FROM INCEPTION TO EXECUTION is a virtual exhibition of photographs created by the young women of the Omid-e-Mehr Foundation in Tehran during workshops conducted by Hengameh Golestan and Omid Salehi in 2008 and 2009. All photographs are signed and printed in an edition of ten. All prints are for sale. Sales proceeds will go to support Omid's artistic programs and activities, with parts going to the photographers.

The Workshops and the Exhibition:

The workshops were the brainchild of Hengameh Golestan and Omid Salehi who wanted to teach the art of photography to the young women at Omid-e-Mehr. After carefully selecting the workshop participants, they started by introducing the world of photography to the students by showing them superior photographic artworks, technical films about photography, and taking them to various galleries and photographic exhibitions. Films were translated, books were made available to the students, and various photographers were invited to talk about their experiences. After gaining some initial experiences, each participant chose her main subjects, after deliberations and exchanges of ideas.

Omid-e-Mehr's holistic program of empowerment, education and training has always included different ways of using photography as a therapeutic tool. Our experience has shown that for some photography can be a very effective vehicle for getting in touch with themselves and finding a voice for expressing their thoughts, perceptions and observations. The photographs presented in this exhibition are a manifestation of the encounters of the workshop participants with the worlds around them. Some reflect a desire for change, others show critical and reflective observations of the society in which they live. The quality of the photographs reflect a sensitivity and purity that is very touching. The positive therapeutic impact of this experience went beyond our expectations. None of the girls chose to express their pains and sorrows in their photography. Instead the photographs either express hopes and aspirations or describe a world in which the photographer is both at home and at ease.

"These photographs are extremely touching and a great tool for these young women to engage in life outside of their own; to observe and frame reality with a whole new eye."
Shirin Neshet, New York

""The young women who created the images in this exhibition have succeeded were many fail. They have stepped out of their own selves and come a step closer in absorbing their surroundings by learning how to see better and thus see things that are invisible to most. The goal of one who tries to capture images with a camera should not be to become a photographer but to learn how to see and observe. What could be more important in our voyage of self-discovery? This is where the photographers who show their works in this exhibition have succeeded and this is why they need to be applauded."
Abbas Kiarostami,
Tehran

Download the fully illustrated EXHIBITION CATALOGUE, which shows all the photographs plus prices, sizes and technical details.

Credits and Acknowledgements:

We are most indebted to Hengameh Golestan and Omid Salehi for having made these workshops possible and to Zohreh Ingram for having created the digital catalogue and the accompanying web-pages.

View short bios of the workshop leaders Hengameh Golestan and Omid Salehi, as well as the photographers Mahboobeh Baess, Mansooreh Baess, Leila Doosti, Kobra Moradifar, Froozan Parvani, Nadiya Parvani, Latifeh Safarzadeh.

Support Omid and the Photographers by Purchasing a Photograph:

Photographs are each priced at $300 or £200. This price includes packing in a tube and shipping by regular airmail to anywhere in the world.

Contact the enquiry number below to check the availability of the photograph(s) you are interested in and to provide your mailing address.

Payment can be made in US Dollars or Pound Sterling. The preferred method of payment is online through the 'get involved' page of our website using your credit/debit card, but you can also pay by check or wire transfer.

Get to Know the Omid Foundations:

The mission of the Omid-e-Mehr Foundation (charity registered in Iran), the Omid Foundation (charity registered in the UK), and the Omid Foundation (USA) (501(c)(3) charity registered in the USA) is to strengthen the social, emotional, and economic competencies of disadvantaged young women (aged from 15 to 25) in Iran, providing them with a sense of self-worth and with the opportunities to experience a full range of life options through care, counselling, self-empowerment, education, training and job placement. Our clients have typically been put into care from an early age, run away from abusive homes, or live in extreme poverty. They often suffer from severe mental health and emotional difficulties, mostly stemming from their experiences of neglect, of physical and sexual abuse, and of exposure to drugs and violence. We value and nurture the voices, hearts, and minds of these underprivileged and vulnerable young women and help them transform their lives. We believe that through love and care in the context of sustained relationships where practical and emotional needs are addressed, our young clients will be able to overcome the traumas of the past and will eventually be able to take responsibility for their emotions and behaviour. Starting with a small group of 15 clients in late 2004, Omid now caters to approximately 90 clients at any one time, more than a quarter of whom are Afghani immigrants. Our holistic approach helps our vulnerable young clients to achieve self-awareness, self-determination and self-sufficiency in modern Iranian society.

Find out more about our work through our website and make sure to watch the Glass House documentary which chronicles the lives of four of the girls in our care. This film is about four young women who strive to pull themselves out of the fringes of Iranian society. Forget about the Iran that you've seen before. With a virtually invisible camera, the young women of the Glass House take you on a never-before-seen tour of the underclass of Iran with their brave and defiant stories: Samira struggles to overcome forced drug addiction; Mitra harnesses abandonment into her creative writing; Sussan teeters on a dangerous ledge after years of sexual abuse; and Nazila burgeons out of her hatred with her blazing rap music. This groundbreaking documentary reflects a side of Iran few have access to or paid attention to: a society lost to its traditions with nothing meaningful to replace them and a group of courageous women working to instil a sense of empowerment and hope into the minds and lives of otherwise discarded young women.

Find out more about this unique documentary. Watch the
CCN interview with the filmmakers, the trailer and clips.

Watch it on the Sundance Channel when it will be broadcast on 16 November at 9pm.

Check the listings in the UK for upcoming broadcasts on Channel 4, More Four and related channels.

Contact us if you live in a community with no access to the above broadcasts and want to organize a local screening of this film.

Pre-purchase the Glass House DVD before 15 December 2009, which will be released in the Spring of 2010.

Watch Hope, a six minute documentary about the Omid-e-Mehr in Iran.

Join us on Facebook

Get Involved with the Omid Foundations:

The work that Omid does is difficult and challenging. It requires strong commitment to the community, much perseverance and the faith that, hopefully, one day in the future our services will no longer be necessary. Until that day, we will work to maintain our vigour, flexibility, and responsiveness to the needs of these vulnerable young women in Iranian society. We will only be able to thrive and to continue with our work by the generosity of other people and their belief in our capacity to change lives. Each contribution, no matter in what form, improves the lives of the underprivileged young women in our care in some vital way and we value each and every contribution. You can help make a difference by fund raising for us, by making a donation, or by volunteering.

Fund Raising
Contact us to discuss how you can organize a fund raising -

  • screening of the Glass House documentary;
  • athletic event (walk, run, etc.); or
  • reception/dinner.

Making a Donation
You can make a donation to Omid Foundation in the UK, Omid Foundation (USA) in the US, or Omid-e-Mehr Foundation in Iran. Please consult your tax consultant for the tax implications of your donation. See our
website for how to make an

  • online and offline donation in the UK (debit/credit card, check, wire transfer, periodic standing order, direct debit), which is tax exempt for UK tax payers;
  • online and offline donation in the USA (debit/credit card, check, wire transfer, periodic standing order), which is tax exempt for US tax payers, and which we are permitted to remit to Iran as specified in our OFAC license issued by the US Treasury;
  • offline donation in Iran (check, wire transfer).

Volunteering
View our
volunteering needs list to find out our current needs for volunteers in different parts of the world.

Additional Information and Enquiries:

For technical question about the photographs, sales enquiries, payment, packing shipping, etc., please contact info@omid-e-mehr.org or +44 (20) 75846949.

Please forward this ebulletin to any of your friends who might be interested in our work. Notify info@omid-e-mehr.org if you would like us to add the details of any of your friends to our mailing list or if you do not wish to receive any further communications from us.

... Payvand News - 11/09/09 ... --



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