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Image: Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh
Title: The Truth About the Persecution, 2009
Looped DVD installation. Duration: 4m 24s

Statement of intent: Displacement of a generation

In my photographic/sound series, I am addressing the Baha’i Persian Diaspora that happened in the 1980’s post Iranian revolution. Thousands upon thousands of Persian Bahá’ís left Iran when the fanatical regime came to power. The Bahá’í communities in Iran are still being oppressed till this day and human rights violations are directed towards their communities. Thousands of Bahá’ís since 1979 have been killed, imprisoned, or otherwise oppressed. They are being persecuted solely because of their religious beliefs.

In my photographic series I have taken pictures of families, in which one of the spouses is Persian and has left their homeland due to the persecution. They have married into new cultures, living in a new environment. They are displaced from their home land and extended families but they have begun a new life and family in another country. This act of displacement and place is what interested me. The children of these couples are identified to be half persian but they do not always carry that identity of place or culture. They speak broken Farsi, somtimes identifying english as their mother language and are unable to read or write in Farsi. They lack the identity of culture even though they carry the Persian names within their own names.

Just as important as the photographs are the names that the family members have inherited. They are hybrid combinations, of Persian and another ethnic group. This is what I find most fascinating.