Kaveh Golestan’s Photographs Of Iran’s Red Light District

From 1975 until 1977, Iranian photojournalist Kaveh Golestan captured the lives of the women in Tehran’s red light district. Although primarily known for documenting war and conflict in the Middle East, Golestan’s project involving these women gives light to a different issue, one that has not seen the spotlight in years if not never in Iranian society.

“Some of the women were tragically charred to death during the blaze and several others were arrested and later faced the revolutionary firing squads in the summer of 1980.”

Golestan’s series, comprised of 45 black-and-white photographs, reveals an honest but explicit look the women that lived this lifestyle in a region formerly known as Citadel of Shahr-e No. Due to their rare and insightful qualities, the photographs where immediately released in the Iranian newspaper ‘Ayandegan’ and later, in 1978, they were shown at the University of Tehran. The exposure of such imagery, however, alarmed authorities, and the exhibition was shut down after 14 days without an official explanation. A year after the exhibition, the Citadel (the place where Golestan shoot these photographs) burned to the ground during the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Today, these photographs remain as records of Iranian history but also an a courageous and beautiful series of art photography. Today, Golestan’s “The Citadel”, an exhibition devoted to these women, will be showing at Foam in Amsterdam starting in March 21 until May 4th, 2014.  Apart from the images, the exhibition will also feature Golestan’s personal journal entries and essays relating to his experiences traveling the region, illuminating the stories of the Citadel’s forgotten women. ( via Huff Post)

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