2021 Photo Contest, Sports, 3rd Prize

Thoughts of Flight


Fereshteh Eslahi

Podium Photos

11 September, 2020

Saeed allows his brother’s prey bird to fly, at home in Gachsaran, Iran. He says he wants to untie it and set it free.

Saeed Ramin is a professional traceur (practitioner of parkour) living in Gachsaran, Iran. Seven years ago, Saeed fell in a parkour competition, injuring the spinal cord in his neck. The aim of parkour is to get from one point to another in complex—usually urban—environments, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible: running, vaulting, swinging, climbing and all manner of other movements, sometimes in dangerous situations such as between high rooftops. A year before he was injured, Saeed broke the Iranian record for jumping over an air bridge over asphalt. Parkour was popularized in the late 1990s and 2000s through films, video games, documentaries and advertisements, and it became popular in Iran after two Iranian traceurs appeared in the documentary, Jump London—although it is prohibited outdoors and in cities across much of the country. Saeed’s injury when he fell was so severe that he could only blink, and doctors said he wouldn’t even be able to sit in a wheelchair. Saeed couldn’t afford extended hospital treatment, but with the help of his family, he improvised rehabilitation equipment in his yard, and despite the doctors' predictions, was able to regain the mobility of his hands. Saeed has regained more of his abilities, and is now able to manage a wheelchair. He still likes to do things other people are afraid of.

About the photographer

Fereshteh Eslahi

Fereshteh Eslahi is a documentary photographer based in Iran. She is interested in different cultures and stories as well as relationships and emotions. In her work, she pays ...

Technical information

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Canon EOS 6D

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