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Under the Hijab: The Daily Lives of Women in Iran

Ali MC | Iran

Ashura Commemoration, Tabriz

Photographing Iran as a foreigner is at times like photographing a facade. While the exoticism of the hijab and the dramatic black capes of the chador might make for great photos, they rarely - if ever - tell the full story of the women who wear them. In public, these adornments are required to be worn by Islamic law, and it has often been by these garments that Iranian women have been defined in popular media. Yet Iranian women - like women everywhere - are of course much more than the sum of their reductive image, as these photographs demonstrate. I was privileged as a foreigner to have been provided a glimpse into these women's lives and be permitted to create an image that defies the prevailing stereotype. These photographs are part of a much larger collection of images titled 'Analog Iran'. Shot on 35mm black and white film and a lo-fi camera and lens, the aim of the project was to document the everyday lives of Iranian people from across the country, from Tabriz in the north, to Zahedan on the Pakistan/ Afghanistan border.

Ali MC is a freelance writer and photographer whose work has featured in publications such as Al Jazeera, The Guardian, GQ and SBS. His photography has appeared in galleries such as the Monash Gallery of Art and he has published a full-length 'punk rock travel book' The Eyeball End. Ali MC holds a Masters in Human Rights Law and teaches at an Australian University. 


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