This photographic series by Mahdi Ehsaei shows a side of Iran, which is widely unknown even to Iranians: a minority of people who influenced the culture of a whole region by continuing their African heritage with their clothing style, their music, their dance and their oral traditions and rituals.
Ehsaei set out to the Hormozgan Province in the Persian Gulf to shed some light on this part of Iran, which is home to the descendants of enslaved people and traders from Africa. The traditional and historical region with one of Iran’s most ethnically diverse populations is framed with unique landscapes. In his book Ehsaei shows fascinating portraits which are not typical for the common picture of Iran. Afro-Iran reveals details documenting a centuries-long history of a community, which is often overlooked in Iran’s history but which has even shaped the culture in Southern Iran.
From the text by Nahid Mozaffari:
Until recently, little attention had been focused on Iranians of African descent from a scholarly or artistic point of view. But a new generation of scholars — historians, anthropologists, ethnographers and photographers — have come to focus with great interest on the history and culture of Iranians of African heritage throughout Iran, particularly, those living in the southern province of Hormozgan on the Persian Gulf.
It is thus with great pleasure that I saw and admired the photographs of Mahdi Ehsaei, who spent intimate time with individuals and communities in Bandar Abbas and smaller towns and villages in Hormozgan, capturing their cultural and individual particularities in his work. To the historian, these photographs present descriptive, contextual, and aesthetic dimensions well beyond common ethnographic portraits.
Mahdi Ehsaei : Afro-Iran – The Unknown Minority
Texts by Joobin Bekhrad, Nahid Mozaffari
Designed by Mahdi Ehsaei and Kehrer Design (Lisa Drechsel)
23 x 28 cm
52 color stills
ISBN 978 -3 -96900 -133-2
Euro 49,90 / US$ 58.00