An examination of cultural discrimination and injustice on the Iranian nation in Post- Islamic Revelation Era
“The principle of development begins with the history of Persia (Iran). This, therefore, constitutes strictly the beginning of World-History”. Hegel.
The word Iran means land of Aryans- Aryans, a branch of Indo-European race. (Iran is another pronunciation of Aryan, both from Pahlavi language) the Aryan tribes of Iran include as Kurd, Azari, Lor, Lak, Baluch, Gilack, Taleshi, and rest of the people known as Persian (just because of speaking in Persian) -the languages of all groups are from one root, the Iranian language family and all groups are sharing similar ethnicity over at least last 11,000 years based on genetic studies.
Use of the word 'Iran' goes back to thousand years ago in different texts like Avesta the holy book of Zoroastrianism. Iran was called Persia by the Greeks over the might of Persian Empire, as the first empire in the history is Persian Empire of Iran.On the Nowruz of 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi asked foreign delegates to use the term Iran, the endonym of the country, in formal correspondence.
The greater Iran in thousand years was contained new countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, some parts of Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iraq (which means the smaller Iran), the Kurdish region in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey and Caucasian region. some of them lost their language or their ethnicity had been completely changed and replaced with other ethnics and races. But still, the cultural signs of Iran are visible there. This is, in fact, the larger Iran, the cultural Iran territory.
Iran, with 8300 years of culture, and 2500 years of written history owns two influential religions of Mithraism and Zoroastrianism. Mithraism of Iran became the religion of Roman Empire around 2000 years ago which still the influences of Persian religion could be seen in Europe and Christianity -which became the state religion of Europe after Mithraism. Traditions like Christmas (birth of Mithra, god of Loyalty) or use of the cross as the symbol of Mithra.
Iran became mostly Islamic by attack and massacre of Arabs in the 7th AD. However, Iran unlike other conquered lands by Arab Muslims, not only kept its rich culture and language but also made this new religion heavily influenced, built the great Islamic civilization and pioneered in Art and Science.
After the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 a policy of Anti-Iranian Culture was adopted by Islamic regime which led to destruction of many historical and cultural sites and traditions. Most of Iranian ceremonies and festivals were abolished and Islamic patterns were imposed on people. While declaring the first human rights in 539 B.C by Cyrus the Great, Iran has a critical condition in terms of human rights.
With an oriental approach, both national and international photographers mostly tried to depict Iranian a nation without an established identity. People either are smoking or drinking – westernized youth (while wine is an important part of Iranian culture, the oldest wine has been discovered from 8000 years ago in Iran) or execution scenes, covered women in black veils (living with Islamic ideologies) is always represented. This, is an incomplete narration of the story of Iran and hides a main part of reality and shuts the voice of rest of the nation.
The focus of this project is on cultural discrimination and injustice on the Iranian nation which caused a self-alienation in the majority of them but at the same time revival of Persian culture by Iranian even though in suppressed current condition.
The story has been told within the use of references to the historical sources and use of metaphor and symbols trying to visualize the spirit of the existence of Iran rather staying on the surface. The famous Persian poet, Maulana -Rumi Balkhi Khorasani- says: "Anyone who has remained far from his roots, seeks a return to the time of his union.” The project and editing of the pictures have been started by inspiration from this poem.