2017 Photo Contest, Long-Term Projects, 2nd prize

An Iranian Journey


Hossein Fatemi

25 November, 2008

Female members of the Basij militia's Ashura putting their guns away after a ceremony. The militia took part in a military parade to mark national Basij week at a Revolutionary Guards military base.

Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, the country has followed a strictly conservative theocratic line. Western cultural influences have been severely restricted. An estimated 60 percent of Iran’s population is under 30 and have little knowledge of their country before the revolution, yet all the trappings of Western youth and modernity are now beamed into homes via the internet and (as yet still illegal) satellite television. Daily, millions of young people engage in activities that are officially illegal and can carry severe penalties. The Basij—a volunteer militia—polices public morals, on the lookout for such offences as women showing too much hair, or couples inappropriately holding hands.

The photographer was born and raised in Iran and has been photographing his country for 15 years. He aims to document parts of Iran’s complex society showing less-observed areas of daily life. He also turned his focus on some Iranian immigrants in the US, to see how they had kept their language, culture and traditions alive.

About the photographer

Hossein Fatemi

Hossein Fatemi (b. 1980) is an Iranian photojournalist and storyteller whose work concentrates on capturing political, social and cultural issues, particularly those relating to ...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
24.0 mm
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N

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