Entry Title: "I Want to Dance"
Name: Nafise Motlaq , Malaysia
Category and Expertise: Photo Essay and Feature Story|Deeper Perspective, Professional
Entry Description: Nafise Motlaq is an Iranian documentary photographer and visual journalist who has lived in Malaysia since 2004. She has a PhD in Mass Communication and so far her photographs, multimedia, and video reportages have been published published is numerous online media. Her photographs also have been exhibited in several group exhibitions in Iran and overseas. Her first photo book titled "A Given Path" was published in Malaysia in 2010. Nafise's major interest in photography are women issues and interfaith dialogue.
Story: Unlike most refugees in the world, Iranians don't escape from their homeland because of battles, genocide or civil war. Most of them mention lack of freedom in their cases to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They mainly include journalists, activists, homosexuals, converted Christians, and female models and dancers who are threatened by Iran’s Islamic law. Kosar is 29 and lives as a 'social refugee' in Malaysia. According to Iranian law, women are not allowed to dance in public, whereas Kosar's biggest dream is to be a professorial dancer. After an extensive conflict with her parents who were against her dream, she moved to India with the excuse of studying, where she won several awards in dance festivals. She came to Malaysia in 2010 and once again she won the first prize in an International competition. But after the news and videos were spread out, she felt unsafe to go back to Iran. Currently lives in Malaysia and has to wait for UNHCR approval to immigrate to another country where she feels safe to live and dance.