Parisa Azadi

A Canadian visual journalist.Based in Iran and Dubai. Available for assignments in the Middle East and Worldwide
Ordinary Grief
Location: Tehran, Iran & Dubai, UAE
Nationality: Canadian-Iranian
Biography: Parisa Azadi is a Canadian visual journalist and storyteller with a keen interest in history and conflict, memory and displacement. She is based between Tehran, Iran and Dubai, UAE and is available for assignments and commissions in the Middle... MORE
Public Story
Ordinary Grief
Copyright Parisa Azadi 2024
Updated May 2024
Location Iran
Topics Spotlight
Ordinary Grief is a story of tenuous reconciliation. In 2017, I returned to Iran after 25 years of self-exile, where I embarked on a personal and political reclamation of my identity and history. With images spanning 2017-2022, Ordinary Grief is my attempt to reconcile despair and joy, exhaustion and hope. It’s about ordinary Iranians actively trying to create new futures for themselves despite the odds. It’s a love letter to a country from which I feel estranged, despite having been born there, and to the people who call it home.

As a woman who grew up between East and West, straddling the line between insider and outsider, my experiences are difficult, unromantic, and fragile. I’ve realized that two decades of living outside Iran brought with them a kind of cultural and personal amnesia. Ordinary Grief is also about what it means to forget and what it means to (try to) remember. Always, I’m attuned to joy, despite the hardships: I sought moments of serenity, celebration, and ritual in the shadows of perpetual grief. The photographs mark the passage of time as they document physical, emotional, and political limbo: they question what it means to long and to belong.

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