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Hengameh Golestan, Photography from the Female Perspective

Hengameh Golestan is an Iranian photographer and is one of the only women photojournalists working in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. She briefly studied photography in England and took her first photos at the age of 18. In her early days, she did some photo work for her husband, Kaveh Golestan, who is also a photojournalist and was killed by a landmine while working for the BBC during the Iraq war.

According to Golestan’s website, she has documented a vast number of women, children and instances of family life in Iran. Most importantly, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Golestan documented many women’s rebellion to the new regime.

Golestan photographed the last days of Iranian women without the compulsorily veil. On March 8, 1979, Golestan documented a group of 100,000 women and men from every profession – nurses and students alike, who were a part of an enormous demonstration which ended with some of them being attacked and stabbed in the streets of Tehran.

Golestan’s photographs capture crucial moments in space and time, as all photos should. To expand, Golestan’s photos could be used as a document that portrays a culture, ideology, aesthetic or mood.

Golestan’s many photo’s give a voice to the voiceless and challenge a society to think critically about certain issues, which in this case, is the role of women in society after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Her photos feature highly charismatic, rebellious, brave and courageous subjects that captivate the viewer. The way in which Golestan frames her photo’s puts the viewer directly into the cultural positioning in space and time of her many subjects.

The saying of “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially relevant to Golestan’s work. Golestan transcends mediums such as audio and text, thus capturing moments through images that show the world Iranian women’s discontent with an oppressive and unjust regime.

Golestan's remarkable body of work triggers instant discussion of the political, social and psychological conditions in every photograph.

Each photograph is meticulously composed and richly layered, and most importantly, evokes endless emotion and thought. For me, her photos freeze time and put me into her shoes as an observer.

Credit: Hengameh Golestan

The angle in which this photograph is captured conveys to viewer the personality and bravery of many of these women. It feels like I am in this photo.

Credit: Hengameh Golestan

This photo showcases the rebellion at the protests. It also shows the different types of women at the protest, and the viewer can tell by the different attire worn by the women. Lastly, it is captured from an angle that makes me feel like I was there.

Credit: Hengameh Golestan

This photo successfully captures the chaos of the protests. It also captured from a unique angle that shows multiple things happening at once. It is very well layered and well composed. It must be at the proper shutter speed because the motion in the photo looks natural.

Credit: Hengameh Golestan

This photo is captured from a unique angle and subjects in this photo are very well layered and placed into the frame. This picture captures the spirit and solidarity at the protests.

Credit: Hengameh Golestan

This photo captures the moment perfectly and is well layered and in focus.

Credit: Hengameh Golestan

This photo seems to be captured from a low angle and captures the moment perfectly.

Credit: Hengameh Golestan

This photo is well layered, and all the faces are in focus. The snow complements the photo well as do the umbrellas.


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