Hidden City

PhotographerHoda Rostami
PrizeHonorable Mention

Tehran is a big crowded city with a selection of distinctive individuals, with even more distinctive lives and exceptional behaviors. After many years when I returned to the city, where I was born and raised, everything had a different look from the time I had left it. Iran is an Islamic state run by Islamic law. Islamic dress code require all women to wear Veil or “Hijab”. Basically, Women have to cover their body and do not have a right to ride motorbikes nor can dance in public. They are not allowed to have a relationship with a man before marriage and kissing is banned by social norms in public. Women’s voice can only get permission for album release only if its accordance with a male singer. Here is a forbidden city. By living there again, I eventually discovered another city. A hidden one, breathing with a feminine beauty under the skin of the forbidden city. Unlike traditional women, they put make ups, leave their heir revealed under scarves and look at beauty as the struggle against enforced Hijab. They do sports and ride bikes in parks and smoke in cafes. Wear lovely dresses and go to parties with their boyfriends. That does not relate to their religious lives. This collection, which is my first photo set, I have tried to reconstruct the moments which become images of lives of those distinctive individuals caught in the conflicts between the Forbidden and Hidden cities.

About Photographer

Discovered my passion in Photography with a Nikon Analog camera when i was nineteen & my early works include Fine Art Photography and experimental self-portraiture. I was born in 1987 in post-revolutionary Tehran. my Family were taking refuge in Tehran from Iran-Iraq war and soon after moved to Sweden where i was raised. Nevertheless, questions of identity, background & Women’s situation in my homeland Iran and Middle East has conectantly been my motivation toward defining my own style My work has been showcased in a series of group exhibitions in France and Canada and has been selected as the main showcasing picture for the Optional Hijab social media campaign. I also hold Bachelor in Innovation and Industrial Design from Mälardalen University.