Shadi Ghadirian

Shadi Ghadirian looks at the state of Iranian women, raising questions of how women are treated in society but with a healthy dose of dark humor.

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TOP, from (“Qajar“), MIDDLE, from (“Like Every Day“), BOTTOM, from (“Nil“)
© Shadi Ghadirian, 1999-2007

In the first series, Qajar, she placed her female friends and modern objects within the context of a 19th century photography studio, contrasting the duality and conflicts faced by the modern Muslim woman.

She gained further accolades with her next series, Like Every Day, a look at the endless chores that women face with everyday. The female’s individuality is concealed not just by the chador but also with common household items.

In the latest series, Nil, the roles that males and females play are juxtaposed by symbolic objects. War and bloodshed plays a dominant role in this set of images.

Personally, I found Like Every Day to be the strongest set. In a simplistic manner, she managed to convey the mundaneness of life after marriage. Interestingly, she started the series after she tied the knot. Qajar is slightly kitsch while I think that she was trying too hard for Nil. The pictures look too perfect, too stylized and too straightforward. However, I think it’s hard not to fall into the trap, especially if people expect you to come up with something brilliant all the time.

More of her works can be found here and here.